I'd forgotten how much I love Tennyson. Of the 19th-century poets, my favorites tend to be Hopkins and Hardy (I know ... polar opposites in some ways. Many ways.). Tennyson, Browning, and Arnold are all great, but they're not Hopkins or Hardy.
But reading "Ulysses" with my class today, I wondered why I don't read Tennyson more often.
Here's a snippet:
Come, my friends,Here's the whole poem.
’T is 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 we shall touch the Happy Isles,
And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.
Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and tho’
We are not now that strength which in old days
Mov’d 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.
I share this stuff with people for a living. How cool is that?