Thursday, March 24, 2011

Ulysses, by Tennyson

" ...Come, my friends.
'Tis not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, and sitting well in order smite
the sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.
It may be that the gulfs will wash us down;
It may be that we shall touch the Happy Isles,
And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.
Though much is taken, much abides; and though
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are---
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield. "
-Alfred Lord Tennyson (1842)

A friend recommended that I read this poem for my birthday last week. I am thankful for good friends who are willing to share a good poem with me. I love a good poem. It works well for me because I recently read the Odyssey and could follow this short bit of verse with at least some understanding. Plus, I am inspired right now at the thought of a better world; the idea that the world can actually be improved, be it only the proximal world around me, or me only, is inspiring. That which we are, we are--not so, Lord Tennyson. Timshel.

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