Welcome to Poetry.com

Poetry.com is a huge collection of poems from famous and amateur poets from around the world — collaboratively published by a community of authors and contributing editors.

Navigate through our poetry database by subjects, alphabetically or simply search by keywords. You can submit a new poem, discuss and rate existing work, listen to poems using voice pronunciation and even translate pieces to many common and not-so-common languages.

Rate this poem:(0.00 / 0 votes)

By an Evolutionist

By an Evolutionist

The Lord let the house of a brute to the soul of a man,
  And the man said, ‘Am I your debtor?’
And the Lord–‘Not yet; but make it as clean as you can,
  And then I will let you a better.’

I.
If my body come from brutes, my soul uncertain or a fable,
  Why not bask amid the senses while the sun of morning shines,
I, the finer brute rejoicing in my hounds, and in my stable,
  Youth and health, and birth and wealth, and choice of women and of wines?

II.
What hast thou done for me, grim Old Age, save breaking my bones on the rack?
  Would I had past in the morning that looks so bright from afar!

  OLD AGE

Done for thee? starved the wild beast that was linkt with thee eighty years back.
  Less weight now for the ladder-of-heaven that hangs on a star.

I.

If my body come from brutes, tho’ somewhat finer than their own,
  I am heir, and this my kingdom. Shall the royal voice be mute?
No, but if the rebel subject seek to drag me from the throne,
  Hold the sceptre, Human Soul, and rule thy province of the brute.

II.

I have climb’d to the snows of Age, and I gaze at a field in the Past.
  Where I sank with the body at times in the sloughs of a low desire,
But I hear no yelp of the beast, and the Man is quiet at last,
  As he stands on the heights of his life with a glimpse of a height that is higher.

Font size:
 

Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:22 min read
107 Views

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

FAVORITE (8 fans)

Discuss this Alfred Lord Tennyson poem with the community:

0 Comments

    Translation

    Find a translation for this poem in other languages:

    Select another language:

    • - Select -
    • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
    • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
    • Español (Spanish)
    • Esperanto (Esperanto)
    • 日本語 (Japanese)
    • Português (Portuguese)
    • Deutsch (German)
    • العربية (Arabic)
    • Français (French)
    • Русский (Russian)
    • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
    • 한국어 (Korean)
    • עברית (Hebrew)
    • Gaeilge (Irish)
    • Українська (Ukrainian)
    • اردو (Urdu)
    • Magyar (Hungarian)
    • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
    • Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Italiano (Italian)
    • தமிழ் (Tamil)
    • Türkçe (Turkish)
    • తెలుగు (Telugu)
    • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
    • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
    • Čeština (Czech)
    • Polski (Polish)
    • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Românește (Romanian)
    • Nederlands (Dutch)
    • Ελληνικά (Greek)
    • Latinum (Latin)
    • Svenska (Swedish)
    • Dansk (Danish)
    • Suomi (Finnish)
    • فارسی (Persian)
    • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
    • հայերեն (Armenian)
    • Norsk (Norwegian)
    • English (English)

    Citation

    Use the citation below to add this poem to your bibliography:

    Style:MLAChicagoAPA

    "By an Evolutionist" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 19 Sep. 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/964/by-an-evolutionist>.

    Become a member!

    Join our community of poets and poetry lovers to share your work and offer feedback and encouragement to writers all over the world!

    Browse Poetry.com

    Quiz

    Are you a poetry master?

    »
    "Now I become myself. It's taken time, many years and places."
    • A. W.H. Auden
    • B. Robert Frost
    • C. May Sarton
    • D. Rita Dove

    Our favorite collection of

    Famous Poets

    »