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Bugles and Beginnings

I remember very clearly all the things that made me decide to become a poet, back when I was 10. One of them was this poem by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, which I first read for a school assignment. I think it’s the line about the “long light” that got me. I could see exactly what Tennyson was describing in my mind’s eye. Plus, the whole poem has a lovely fantastical air about it, like a song from another world. (It’s actually part of a long, rather satirical poem called “The Princess” that makes fun of fairytale tropes, but fortunately my 10-year-old self didn’t know that.) Here you go:

Bugle Song

The splendour falls on castle walls

and snowy summits old in story:

The long light shakes across the lakes

and the wild cataract leaps in glory.

Blow, bugle, blow, set the wild echoes flying;

Blow, bugle; answer, echoes, dying, dying, dying.

 

O hark! O hear! How thin and clear,

and thinner, clearer, farther going!

O sweet and far from cliff and scar,

the horns of Elfland faintly blowing!

Blow, let us hear the purple glens replying;

Blow, bugle; answer, echoes, dying, dying, dying.

 

O love, they die in yon rich sky,

they faint on hill or field or river;

Our echoes roll from soul to soul

and grow forever and forever!

Blow, bugle, blow, set the wild echoes flying;

And answer, echoes, answer, dying, dying, dying.

 

Namarie,

Aldy

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