Weekly Interlinear Poem




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Robert Jackson

This is the poem for the week of January 19.
A new interlinear poem is available each Monday.


Tears, Idle Tears

-Alfred Lord Tennyson


Tears, idle tears, I know not what they mean,
idle=pointless
Tears from the depth of some divine despair
divine=mysterious
Rise in the heart, and gather to the eyes,
In looking on the happy autumn-fields,
happy=causing happiness
And thinking of the days that are no more.

Fresh as the first beam glittering on a sail
first beam=first light of dawn
sail=sail of a boat (memory) that carries past friends
That brings our friends up from the underworld,
underworld=the past
Sad as the last which reddens over one
last=last beam of light at twilight
one=sail/boat
That sinks with all we love below the verge;
verge=horizon
So sad, so fresh, the days that are no more.
So sad, so fresh=fresh at the beginning, sad at the end

Ah, sad and strange as, in dark summer dawns,
The earliest pipe of half-awakened birds
To dying ears, when unto dying eyes
The casement slowly grows a glimmering square.
casement=window
grows a glimmering square=becomes increasingly sunny
So sad, so strange, the days that are no more.

Dear as remembered kisses after death,
Dear=dear days
after death=after the death of someone kissed
And sweet as those by hopeless fancy feigned
hopeless fancy=hopeless and therefore imagined
feigned on lips=imagined on lips
On lips that are for others; deep as love,
deep=deep days
Deep as first love, and wild with all regret;
wild with all regret=wildly regretful
O Death in Life, the days that are no more.





Tears, idle tears, I know not what they mean,
Tears from the depth of some divine despair
Rise in the heart, and gather to the eyes,
In looking on the happy autumn-fields,
And thinking of the days that are no more.

Fresh as the first beam glittering on a sail,
That brings our friends up from the underworld,
Sad as the last which reddens over one
That sinks with all we love below the verge;
So sad, so fresh, the days that are no more.

Ah, sad and strange as in dark summer dawns
The earliest pipe of half-awakened birds
To dying ears, when unto dying eyes
The casement slowly grows a glimmering square;
So sad, so strange, the days that are no more.

Dear as remembered kisses after death,
And sweet as those by hopeless fancy feigned
On lips that are for others; deep as love,
Deep as first love, and wild with all regret;
O Death in Life, the days that are no more.