Chelsea, February 5th, 1881
Thro’ mist and gloom, indignant and alone,
He nursed his heart’s great fire, he spake his lore;
Death smoothed at last the lines that sorrow wore,
And nations mourned a master spirit gone.
Of all our prophet saviours, last but one,
Breaker of idols, stern-voiced counsellor,
Shall England hear thy Doric phrase no more,
Hear and obey the village craftsman’s son.
Nay, long as Thames shall roll toward the Town
Its gathered freshness from a thousand vales
To pass in sorrow on towards the sea,
His words of truth shall sound tho’ tyrants frown,
His courage keep us when our courage fails,
His sadness to our gladness strength shall be.
(Valete: Tennyson and other Memorial Poems, p. 109)