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You Ask Me, Why, Tho' Ill at Ease

You ask me, why, tho' ill at ease,
  Within this region I subsist,
  Whose spirits falter in the mist,
  And languish for the purple seas.
  It is the land that freemen till,
  That sober-suited Freedom chose,
  The land, where girt with friends or foes
  A man may speak the thing he will;
  A land of settled government,
  A land of just and old renown,
  Where Freedom slowly broadens down
  From precedent to precedent:

  Where faction seldom gathers head,
  But by degrees to fullness wrought,
  The strength of some diffusive thought
  Hath time and space to work and spread.

  Should banded unions persecute
  Opinion, and induce a time
  When single thought is civil crime,
  And individual freedom mute;

  Tho' Power should make from land to land
  The name of Britain trebly great--
  Tho' every channel of the State
  Should fill and choke with golden sand--

  Yet waft me from the harbour-mouth,
  Wild wind! I seek a warmer sky,
  And I will see before I die
  The palms and temples of the South.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Alfred Lord Tennyson

Alfred Tennyson, 1st Baron Tennyson, FRS was Poet Laureate of Great Britain and Ireland during much of Queen Victoria's reign and remains one of the most popular British poets.  more…

All Alfred Lord Tennyson poems | Alfred Lord Tennyson Books

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