The Princess: Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal

By Alfred, Lord Tennyson 1809–1892 Alfred, Lord Tennyson
   Now sleeps the crimson petal, now the white;
Nor waves the cypress in the palace walk;
Nor winks the gold fin in the porphyry font.
The firefly wakens; waken thou with me.

   Now droops the milk-white peacock like a ghost,
And like a ghost she glimmers on to me.

   Now lies the Earth all Danaë to the stars,
And all thy heart lies open unto me.

   Now slides the silent meteor on, and leaves
A shining furrow, as thy thoughts in me.

   Now folds the lily all her sweetness up,
And slips into the bosom of the lake.
So fold thyself, my dearest, thou, and slip
Into my bosom and be lost in me.

Source: The Longman Anthology of Poetry (2006)

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Poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson 1809–1892

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

Subjects Nature, Relationships, Stars, Planets, Heavens, Trees & Flowers, Love, Seas, Rivers, & Streams, Romantic Love, Desire

Poetic Terms Sonnet, Blank Verse

 Alfred, Lord  Tennyson

Biography

More than any other Victorian writer, Tennyson has seemed the embodiment of his age, both to his contemporaries and to modern readers. In his own day he was said to be—with Queen Victoria and Gladstone—one of the three most famous living persons, a reputation no other poet writing in English has ever had. As official poetic spokesman for the reign of Victoria, he felt called upon to celebrate a quickly changing industrial and . . .

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Poems by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Nature, Relationships, Stars, Planets, Heavens, Trees & Flowers, Love, Seas, Rivers, & Streams, Romantic Love, Desire

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

Poetic Terms Sonnet, Blank Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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