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The Princess Returns

Alfred Tennyson's 'The Princess' has been re-done in Bookshelf II format, and most of the illustrations from the 1884 edition have been added in. The illustrations are clickable, to view larger format versions.

The full text is accessible at:


Tennyson sub-titled this 'A Medley' - the story is told spontaneously in seven parts by seven different speakers, mostly college friends returned home and picnicking together on a weekend. Most of the poem is in blank verse, with well known songs at the ends of several of the sections.


From The Princess:

         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 for ever and for ever.
     Blow, bugle, blow, set the wild echoes flying,
     And answer, echoes, answer, dying, dying, dying

                            *     *     *     *    

     Home they brought her warrior dead:
          She nor swooned, nor uttered cry:
     All her maidens, watching, said,
          'She must weep or she will die.'

     Then they praised him, soft and low,
          Called him worthy to be loved,
     Truest friend and noblest foe;
          Yet she neither spoke nor moved.

     Stole a maiden from her place,
          Lightly to the warrior stept,
     Took the face-cloth from the face;
          Yet she neither moved nor wept.

     Rose a nurse of ninety years,
          Set his child upon her knee--
     Like summer tempest came her tears--
          'Sweet my child, I live for thee.'

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