Famous Nature Poem

The Industrial Revolution took place in Great Britain during the late 1700s and early 1800s. As cities grew, living conditions deteriorated for the poor and working class. Factories and mass production were beneficial for some but not everyone. This poem stands in contrast of new manufacturing processes of that time period by focusing on nature. The narrator in this poem, the brook, is personified. The brook shows persistence by continuing to flow, no matter what obstacles get in its way. The repeated lines, “For men may come and men may go, but I go on for ever,” showcase that. Famous poet Alfred Tennyson (1809-1892) was named Poet Laureate in Great Britain and Ireland.

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One of my earliest recollections was this poem being read to me by my father, a keen angler, as a bedtime story nearly 70 years ago. It stayed with me for the rest of my life. Inspirational...

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The Brook

Alfred Tennyson By more Alfred Tennyson

I come from haunts of coot and hern,
   I make a sudden sally
And sparkle out among the fern,
   To bicker down a valley.

By thirty hills I hurry down,
   Or slip between the ridges,
By twenty thorpes, a little town,
   And half a hundred bridges.

Till last by Philip's farm I flow
   To join the brimming river,
For men may come and men may go,
   But I go on for ever.

I chatter over stony ways,
   In little sharps and trebles,
I bubble into eddying bays,
   I babble on the pebbles.

With many a curve my banks I fret
   By many a field and fallow,
And many a fairy foreland set
   With willow-weed and mallow.

I chatter, chatter, as I flow
   To join the brimming river,
For men may come and men may go,
   But I go on for ever.

I wind about, and in and out,
   With here a blossom sailing,
And here and there a lusty trout,
   And here and there a grayling,

And here and there a foamy flake
   Upon me, as I travel
With many a silvery waterbreak
   Above the golden gravel,

And draw them all along, and flow
   To join the brimming river
For men may come and men may go,
   But I go on for ever.

I steal by lawns and grassy plots,
   I slide by hazel covers;
I move the sweet forget-me-nots
   That grow for happy lovers.

I slip, I slide, I gloom, I glance,
   Among my skimming swallows;
I make the netted sunbeam dance
   Against my sandy shallows.

I murmur under moon and stars
   In brambly wildernesses;
I linger by my shingly bars;
   I loiter round my cresses;

And out again I curve and flow
   To join the brimming river,
For men may come and men may go,
   But I go on for ever.

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Has this poem touched you? Share your story!
  • Charles Spires by Charles Spires
  • 9 months ago

One of my earliest recollections was this poem being read to me by my father, a keen angler, as a bedtime story nearly 70 years ago. It stayed with me for the rest of my life. Inspirational and reminds me most strongly of him.

  • Satya Prasad by Satya Prasad
  • 1 year ago

I did read this poem for my final exams last year. Now getting it on this platform feels nice and weird.

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