…made weak by time and fate, but strong in will…


Ulysses

1It little profits that an idle king,
2By this still hearth, among these barren crags,
3Match’d with an aged wife, I mete and dole
4Unequal laws unto a savage race,
5That hoard, and sleep, and feed, and know not me.
6I cannot rest from travel: I will drink
7Life to the lees: All times I have enjoy’d
8Greatly, have suffer’d greatly, both with those
9That loved me, and alone, on shore, and when
10Thro’ scudding drifts the rainy Hyades
11Vext the dim sea: I am become a name;
12For always roaming with a hungry heart
13Much have I seen and known; cities of men
14And manners, climates, councils, governments,
15Myself not least, but honour’d of them all;
16And drunk delight of battle with my peers,
17Far on the ringing plains of windy Troy.
18I am a part of all that I have met;
19Yet all experience is an arch wherethro’
20Gleams that untravell’d world whose margin fades
21For ever and forever when I move.
22How dull it is to pause, to make an end,
23To rust unburnish’d, not to shine in use!
24As tho’ to breathe were life! Life piled on life
25Were all too little, and of one to me
26Little remains: but every hour is saved
27From that eternal silence, something more,
28A bringer of new things; and vile it were
29For some three suns to store and hoard myself,
30And this gray spirit yearning in desire
31To follow knowledge like a sinking star,
32Beyond the utmost bound of human thought.
33      This is my son, mine own Telemachus,
34To whom I leave the sceptre and the isle,–
35Well-loved of me, discerning to fulfil
36This labour, by slow prudence to make mild
37A rugged people, and thro’ soft degrees
38Subdue them to the useful and the good.
39Most blameless is he, centred in the sphere
40Of common duties, decent not to fail
41In offices of tenderness, and pay
42Meet adoration to my household gods,
43When I am gone. He works his work, I mine.
44      There lies the port; the vessel puffs her sail:
45There gloom the dark, broad seas. My mariners,
46Souls that have toil’d, and wrought, and thought with me–
47That ever with a frolic welcome took
48The thunder and the sunshine, and opposed
49Free hearts, free foreheads–you and I are old;
50Old age hath yet his honour and his toil;
51Death closes all: but something ere the end,
52Some work of noble note, may yet be done,
53Not unbecoming men that strove with Gods.
54The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks:
55The long day wanes: the slow moon climbs: the deep
56Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends,
57’T is not too late to seek a newer world.
58Push off, and sitting well in order smite
59The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
60To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
61Of all the western stars, until I die.
62It may be that the gulfs will wash us down:
63It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,
64And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.
65Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and tho’
66We are not now that strength which in old days
67Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;
68One equal temper of heroic hearts,
69Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
70To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

(Alfred Lord Tennyson, 1809-1892)
(From Representative Poetry Online)

En homenaje a Scott.

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