Skip to main content
Humanities Libertexts

4.6: Break, Break, Break

  • Page ID
    3124
  • [ "article:topic" ]

    Alfred, Lord Tennyson

    Break, break, break,
    On thy cold gray stones, O Sea!
    And I would that my tongue could utter
    The thoughts that arise in me.

    O well for the fisherman’s boy,
    That he shouts with his sister at play!
    O well for the sailor lad,
    That he sings in his boat on the bay!

    And the stately ships go on
    To their haven under the hill;
    But O for the touch of a vanish’d hand[1],
    And the sound of a voice that is still!

    Break, break, break,
    At the foot of thy crags, O sea!
    But the tender grace of a day that is dead
    Will never come back to me.

    —1834, 1842

    Contributors 


    1. Like “Ulysses” and “In Memoriam,” this poem was inspired by the death of Arthur Hallam. 
    • Was this article helpful?