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Alfred Tennyson, 1809-1892

"The Higher Pantheism"
from The Holy Grail and Other Poems (London: Strahan, 1870).


 THE sun, the moons, the stars, the seas, the hills and
       the plains--
 Are not these, O Soul, the Vision of Him who reigns?

 Is not the Vision He? tho' He be not that which He
       seems?
 Dreams are true while they last, and do we not live in
       dreams?

 Earth, these solid stars, this weight of body and limb,
 Are they not sign and symbol of thy division from
       Him?

 Dark is the world to thee: thyself art the reason
       why;
 For is He not all but thou, that hast power to feel
       'I am I?'

 Glory about thee, without thee; and thou fulfillest
       thy doom,
 Making Him broken gleams, and a stifled splendour
       and gloom.                                             10

 Speak to Him thou for He hears, and Spirit with
       Spirit can meet--
 Closer is He than breathing, and nearer than hands
       and feet.

 God is law, say the wise; O Soul, and let us rejoice,
 For if He thunder by law the thunder is yet His voice.

 Law is God, say some: no God at all, says the fool;
 For all we have power to see is a straight staff bent in
       a pool;

 And the ear of man cannot hear, and the eye of man
       cannot see;
 But if we could see and hear, this Vision--were it not
       He?


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Updated 2 August 1999 by the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections.
Copyright © 1999, the University of South Carolina.
URL: http://www.sc.edu/library/spcoll/britlit/tenn/highpan.html