What happens when you spend the better part of your day writing a paper on Alfred Lord Tennyson? You procrastinate by writing Tennyson-inspired poems, that’s what. Yet again, this is only a first draft. It was a delightful procrastination tool, and I thought I’d share it here. As with the others, newer versions will follow as I edit them. Prepare yourselves for more of these. We’re not out of the frying pan yet.
Come sweetly, soft, and do tread lightly, dear.
Cruel thorns will tear your brow, your feet, your hair,
Sly rocks your ankles twist; no longer near
The sun, but frozen brambles, trees stripped bare,
Mud-choked the stream where even serpents fear
To sift. Not e’en the frown of winter wear
The mountains’ mouths, but fleshless faces’ leer
O’er changeless plains, shaved of the seasons’ hair.
These Nature’s bones, too long less hands to rear
Too-tender seeds, the phantom portraits bear
From careless youth, when dyads danced to hear
Spring’s feet approach out Hades’ new-shut lair.
Lay down with me where late the stern frontier
By our hand smiled, ‘til absence wrought despair
To wilt our Eden, change our bed to bier.
Our home we scorned to tend, your fate we share!
Our glass eyes other keepers bid beware,
That untilled soil can naught but tombs prepare.
But let them know that we were happy here.