Alfred, Lord Tennyson, (1809—1892) 1st Baron Tennyson of Aldworth and Freshwater, was an English poet. He was the Poet Laureate during Queen Victoria’s reign. Also, Tennyson won the Chancellor’s Gold Medal at Cambridge for one of his first pieces, “Timbuktu”. Published in 1830, was the First solo collection of Alfred Tennyson Poetries, Chiefly Lyrical.
“Crossing the Bar” by Alfred Tennyson written in 1889, is a metaphorical meditation on death. The speaker heralds the setting of the sun and the rise of the evening star. And hears that he is being called. He hopes that the ocean will not make the mournful sound of waves beating against a sand bar. Rather, he wishes for a tide that is so full that it cannot contain sound or foam. Therefore when all that has been carried from the boundless depths of the ocean, it returns back out to the depths.
The speaker announces the close of the day and the evening bell, and darkness will follow it. He hopes that no one will cry when he departs. Although he may be carried beyond the limits of time and space as we know them, he retains the hope that he will look upon the face of his “Pilot” when he has crossed the sand bar.
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Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,
But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.
Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;
For tho’ from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crost the bar.
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