August 7 Lord Alfred Tennyson: The Splendor Falls on Castle Walls

I’m a little tired today – just a leetle bit of the heat stroke. The apartment is ten degrees hotter than the outside and we’re have weather in the 80s (that’s in the low thirties for all you fools who follow Celsius – meters, grams and liters might be more accurate but Celsius is NOT, just sayin’). So, I won’t say too much about this splendid poem. I like that he mentions snow – I really miss snow right now (it’s amazing how wonderful is sounds to the mental ear in 80 degree weather). But it does have the characters in the poem dying, dying, dying (sounds a lot to me like the Wicked Witch of the West in the Wizard of Oz after Dorothy splashed water on her, I’m melting, I’m melting, I’m meeeeeelitiiiiingggggg; certainly how I feel right now).

It’s a lovely rhythmic poem and sounds like a song with it’s repetitions, rhythms and rimes. It talks of the waning days of Fairyland and of trumpets echoing across pastoral fields.

It was written in 1850. They don’t write ’em like they used to. I think certain words mean something different now, for instance, “wild cataract leaps in glory” (ew!) tell me that doesn’t mean what I think it means. (That poor person’s eye!) I know that the word “scar” means jutting rock (I won’t even go into archaic words like “O” and “yon”, you’ll certainly never hear them used seriously in modern writing today), so English has changed a bit even within two hundred years. It’s strange to think that even though we can read books from that time, the people then were speaking a slightly different language.

Perhaps in a way their little fairy land was dying, their way of speaking and seeing the world was coming to an end. Along comes the Twentieth Century in it bulky lumbering shoes, stomping heedlessly through the wilderness over fields of flowers and birds’ nests through brambles and wild orchards to construct strip malls and highways and box like buildings for utility only, no decor, resembling prisons. Here comes the Twentieth Century to replace the dainty, delicate and ornate sentences with verbs and nouns only, quick choppy sentences (no time for chit chat, I’ve got a four o’clock), no time to be polite, no time to set a scene, no time to dream and idolize. Just make it quick, fast, and easily digestible (never mind the nutrition).

Like I said, they don’t write ’em like they used to. Too bad.

The Splendor Falls on Castle Walls

by Lord Alfred Tennyson

The splendor falls on castle walls
And snowy summits old in story;
The long light shakes across the lakes,
And the wild cataracts 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 for ever and for ever.
Blow, bugle, blow, set the wild echoes flying,
And answer, echoes, answer, dying, dying, dying.

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About penneloppe

I like to write horror, dark fantasy and crime fiction. Sometimes, I'll write science fiction, but usually I like to write science fact. I also write screenplays and stage plays. My day job is office work. I live in Seattle and I have a cat.
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