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Fatima by Alfred Lord Tennyson

October 28, 2012

I am posting the entire poem also verbatim here (bold emphasis mine). I was wowed after reading this. The passion flowing out of this poem is un-comparable. The imagery that goes with the passion is really amazing. One of the best poems I read in the recent times. One of my mentors posted a few lines of this in facebook (yes, sometimes facebook is useful!) and I searched for the entire poem. It rhymes so beautifully. The choice of words, the imagery, the sensuality, and the passion – just wow! You feel the passion, don’t you?

O Love, Love, Love! O withering might!

O sun, that from thy noonday height

Shudderest when I strain my sight,

Throbbing thro’ all thy heat and light,

Lo, falling from my constant mind,

Lo, parch’d and wither’d, deaf and blind,

I whirl like leaves in roaring wind.

Last night I wasted hateful hours

Below the city’s eastern towers:

I thirsted for the brooks, the showers:

I roll’d among the tender flowers:

I crush’d them on my breast, my mouth:

I look’d athwart the burning drouth

Of that long desert to the south. 

Last night, when some one spoke his name,

From my swift blood that went and came

A thousand little shafts of flame.

Were shiver’d in my narrow frame

O Love, O fire! once he drew

With one long kiss, my whole soul thro’

My lips, as sunlight drinketh dew

Before he mounts the hill, I know

He cometh quickly: from below

Sweet gales, as from deep gardens, blow

Before him, striking on my brow.

In my dry brain my spirit soon,

Down-deepening from swoon to swoon,

Faints like a dazzled morning moon.

The wind sounds like a silver wire,

And from beyond the noon a fire

Is pour’d upon the hills, and nigher

The skies stoop down in their desire;

And, isled in sudden seas of light,

My heart, pierced thro’ with fierce delight,

Bursts into blossom in his sight.

My whole soul waiting silently,

All naked in a sultry sky,

Droops blinded with his shining eye:

I ‘will’ possess him or will die.

I will grow round him in his place,

Grow, live, die looking on his face,

Die, dying clasp’d in his embrace.


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