Was reminded this morning as I read how potent I find these passages from Tennyson’s Ulysses:
I am a part of all that I have met;
Yet all experience is an arch wherethro’
Gleams that untravell’d world whose margin fades
For ever and forever when I move.
Something in there for all travelers, no? Yet bittersweet in reminding us of how much we will not see. But take comfort in this last one:
Tho’ much is taken, much abides; And tho’
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate but strong in will,
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.
This does not seem like a young man’s poem, and it’s interesting to me that I have taken so much from this poem, in so many different ways, since I was in college. In fact, I related more to the speaker then in my early 20s, dwelt more on ideas he’s expressing, then now in my 40s. These years, we dwell on different things, when there is time to dwell at all! In any case, like Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises, this poem has had something new to say to me in each stage of my life.
Read the whole poem here. http://www.bartleby.com/246/375.html