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Alfred Tennyson

Alfred Tennyson (1809-1892) nacque lo stesso anno di Darwin, beniamino della societÓ vittoriana, che lo nomin˛ poeta laureato, espresse nella poesia In Memoriam (1850) l'angoscia di un uomo che cerca di conciliare le vecchie idee con una teoria che sembra metterle totalmente in crisi; anche se la sua Ŕ una disperazione di maniera, temperata e risolta dalla convinzione fiduciosa del destino superiore dell'uomo in particolare e in genere del grande Impero Britannico:

Are God and Nature then at strife,
   That Nature lends such evil dreams?
   So careful of the type she seems,
 So careless of the single life; . . .

So careful of the type?" but no.
   From scarped cliff and quarried stone
   She cries, "A thousand types are gone:
 I care for nothing, all shall go.

"Thou makest thine appeal to me:
   I bring to life, I bring to death:
   The spirit does but mean the breath:
 I know no more." And he, shall he,

Man, her last work, who seem'd so fair,
   Such splendid purpose in his eyes,
   Who roll'd the psalm to wintry skies,
 Who built him fanes of fruitless prayer,

Who trusted God was love indeed
   And love Creation's final law --
   Tho' Nature, red in tooth and claw
 With ravine, shriek'd against his creed --

Who loved, who suffer'd countless ills,
   Who battled for the True, the Just,
   Be blown about the desert dust,
 Or seal'd within the iron hills?

No more? A monster then, a dream,
   A discord. Dragons of the prime,
   That tare each other in their slime,
 Were mellow music match'd with him.

O life as futile, then, as frail!
   O for thy voice to soothe and bless!
   What hope of answer, or redress?
 Behind the veil, behind the veil



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