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Extract from "MAUD - a Monodrama"

by Lord Alfred Tennyson - [Published in 1855]

The poem Maud, a long and turbulent "Monodrama", was written after his famous "In Memoriam".
It is said by some to have a greater lyric passion and spendour than the earlier work, but caused much protest when published, with many admirers being shocked by the morbidity and hysteria of the hero.
However, Tennyson considered it to be his favourite.

Here is a short extract......

    Maud's own little oak-room
    (Which Maud, like a precious stone
    Set in the heart of the carven gloom,
    Lights with herself, when alone
    She sits by her music and books
    And her brother lingers late
    With a roystering company) looks
    Upon Maud's own garden-gate:
    And I thought as I stood, if a hand, as white
    As ocean-foam in the moon, were laid
    On the hasp of the window, and my Delight
    Had a sudden desire, like a glorious ghost, to glide,
    Like a beam of the seventh Heaven, down to my side,
    There were but a step to be made.

    The fancy flatter'd my mind,
    And again seem'd overbold;
    Now I thought that she cared for me,
    Now I thought she was kind
    Only because she was cold.

    I heard no sound where I stood
    But the rivulet on from the lawn
    Running down to my own dark wood;
    Or the voice of the long sea-wave as it swel1'd
    Now and then in the dim-gray dawn;
    But I look'd, and round, all round the house I beheld
    The death-white curtain drawn;
    Felt a horror over me creep,
    Prickle my skin and catch my breath,
    Knew that the death-white curtain meant but sleep,
    Yet I shudder'd and thought like a fool of the sleep of death.

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