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Sleep and rest, sleep and rest,

Father will come to thee soon;
Rest, rest, on mother's breast,

Father will come to thee soon;
Father will come to his babe in the nest,
Silver sails all out of the west

Under the silver moon:
Sleep, my little one, sleep, my pretty one, sleep.


[Ulysses was one of the principal Greek heroes of the Trojan war, and his exploits are celebrated by Homer in the Odyssey. In these noble lines, our poet represents Ulysses as the type of all aspiring souls.]

It little profits, that, an idle king,
By this still hearth, among these barren crags,
Matched with an aged wife, I mete and dole
Unequal laws unto a savage race,
That hoard and sleep and feed, and know not me.
I can not rest from travel: I will drink
Life to the lees. All times I have enjoyed
Greatly, have suffered greatly, both with those
That loved me, and alone: on shore, and when
Through scudding drifts the rainy Hyades 4
Vexed 5 the dim sea. I am become a name;
For, always roaming with a hungry heart,
Much have I seen and known, - cities of men,

1 these barren crags. Meaning the Grecian island of Ithaca, of which Ulysses was king.

2 an aged wife, Penelope.

3 drink ... lees. Explain.

4 Hyades, a cluster of five stars in the constellation Taurus.

5 vexed. What is the figure?

And manners, climates, councils, governments
(Myself not least, but honored of them all), -
And drunk delight of battle with my peers
Far on the ringing plains of windy Troy.
I am a part of all that I have met;
Yet all experience is an arch 1 wherethrough
Gleams that untraveled world whose margin fades
For ever and for ever when I move.
How dull it is to pause, to make an end,
To rust unburnished, not to shine in use!
As though to breathe were life. Life piled on life
Were all too little, and of one to me
Little remains; but every hour is saved
From that eternal silence ? — something more,
A bringer of new things; and vile it were
For some three suns to store and hoard myself,
And this gray spirit 3 yearning in desire
To follow knowledge, like a sinking star,
Beyond the utmost bound of human thought.

This is my son, mine own Telemachus,
To whom I leave the scepter and the isle, –
Well-loved of me, discerning to fulfill
This labor, by slow prudence4 to make mild
A rugged people, and through soft degrees
Subdue them to the useful and the good.
Most blameless is he, centered in the sphere 5
Of common duties, decent not to fail

1 is an arch, etc. Observe this fine metaphor.

2 that eternal silence, death. 8 gray spirit. Explain.

4 by slow prudence, etc., is explanatory of “this labor."

5 centered ... sphere, confined to, devoted to.

In offices of tenderness, and pay
Meet adoration to my household gods
When I am gone. He works his work, I mine.

There lies the port; the vessel puffs her sail;
There gloom the dark broad seas. My mariners,
Souls that have toiled and wrought and thought with

me, That ever with a frolic welcome took The thunder and the sunshine, and opposed Free hearts, free foreheads, you and I are old. Old age hath yet his honor and his toil. Death closes all; but something ere the end, Some work of noble note, may yet be done, Not unbecoming men that strove with gods. The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks; The long day wanes; the slow moon climbs; the deep Moans round with many voices. 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 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.


BREAK, break, break,

On thy cold gray stones, O sea ! And I would that my tongue could utter

The thoughts that arise in me.

O well for the fisherman's boy,

That he shouts with his sister at play! O well for the sailor lad,

That he sings in his boat on the bay!

And the stately ships go on

To their haven 1 under the hill;
But for the touch of a vanished hand,

And the sound of a voice that is still !

Break, break, break,

At the foot of thy crags, O sea !
But the tender grace of a day that is dead

Will never come back to me.


[From In Memoriam. See introductory sketch.]

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,

The flying cloud, the frosty light;

The year is dying 2 in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

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Ring out the old, ring in the new;

Ring, happy bells, across the snow;

The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind 2

For those that here we see no more;

Ring out the feud of rich and poor;
Ring in redress to all mankind.

Ring out a slowly dying cause,

And ancient forms of party strife;

Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.

Ring out the want, the care, the sin,

The faithless coldness of the times ;

Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes,
But ring the fuller minstrel 3 in.

Ring out false pride in place and blood,

The civic slander and the spite;

Ring in the love of truth and right;
Ring in the common love of good.

Ring out old shapes of foul disease;

Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;

Ring out the thousand wars of old;
Ring in the thousand years of peace.*

1 him. Note the personification.

saps the mind. What is the figure?


3 minstrel, bard.

4 thousand years of peace, the millennium.

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