He clasps the crag with crooked hands;
Close to the sun in lonely lands,
Ring’d with the azure world, he stands.
The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls;
He watches from his mountain walls,
And like a thunderbolt he falls.
Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809-1892)
Alfred Tennyson, 1st Baron Tennyson was Poet Laureate of Great Britain and Ireland during much of Queen Victoria’s reign and remains one of the most popular British poets. He was born in Somersby in Lincolnshire, son of the rector of the village church and fourth of 12 children. He was from a middle-class line of Tennysons, but also had a noble and royal ancestry. Tennyson excelled at penning short lyrics and much of his verse was based on classical mythological themes although he also wrote some notable blank verse. During his career, Tennyson attempted drama, but his plays enjoyed little success. A number of phrases from Tennyson’s work have become commonplaces of the English language.