Garden · Inspiration · Looking for the silver lining · Mental Health · Poetry · Random Musings

Soppy Sunday – Mariana by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

When I introduced the Lady of Shalott Shawl, I told you that while I loved the poem, it wasn’t my favourite Tennyson poem. I’m sure lots some of you have speculated as to what my favourite is but not guessed. To be fair, there are a lot of Tennyson poems out there!

I could give you a grand description of the poem and what it means to me but that would be a lie! Simply put, Mariana is the first Tennyson poem that I remember reading. We studied it at school and at the time, the teacher that discussed it with us was passionate about it which always helps!

What I love about this poem is that every description in the poem describes Mariana as well as the ‘moated grange’. The poem is inspired by a line in Measure For Measure by Shakespeare. It’s a melancholy poem which describes Mariana’s despair that she’s been abandoned by her lover. She’s trapped here with no hope of relief.

I love this poem and would recommend to anyone to read it.

Enjoy!

Michelle xoxox

~

Mariana

“Mariana in the Moated Grange”
(Shakespeare, Measure for Measure)

With blackest moss the flower-plots

Were thickly crusted, one and all:

The rusted nails fell from the knots

That held the pear to the gable-wall.

The broken sheds look’d sad and strange:

Unlifted was the clinking latch;

Weeded and worn the ancient thatch

Upon the lonely moated grange.

She only said, “My life is dreary,

He cometh not,” she said;

She said, “I am aweary, aweary,

I would that I were dead!”

Her tears fell with the dews at even;

Her tears fell ere the dews were dried;

She could not look on the sweet heaven,

Either at morn or eventide.

After the flitting of the bats,

When thickest dark did trance the sky,

She drew her casement-curtain by,

And glanced athwart the glooming flats.

She only said, “The night is dreary,

He cometh not,” she said;

She said, “I am aweary, aweary,

I would that I were dead!”

Upon the middle of the night,

Waking she heard the night-fowl crow:

The cock sung out an hour ere light:

From the dark fen the oxen’s low

Came to her: without hope of change,

In sleep she seem’d to walk forlorn,

Till cold winds woke the gray-eyed morn

About the lonely moated grange.

She only said, “The day is dreary,

He cometh not,” she said;

She said, “I am aweary, aweary,

I would that I were dead!”

About a stone-cast from the wall

A sluice with blacken’d waters slept,

And o’er it many, round and small,

The cluster’d marish-mosses crept.

Hard by a poplar shook alway,

All silver-green with gnarled bark:

For leagues no other tree did mark

The level waste, the rounding gray.

She only said, “My life is dreary,

He cometh not,” she said;

She said “I am aweary, aweary

I would that I were dead!”

And ever when the moon was low,

And the shrill winds were up and away,

In the white curtain, to and fro,

She saw the gusty shadow sway.

But when the moon was very low

And wild winds bound within their cell,

The shadow of the poplar fell

Upon her bed, across her brow.

She only said, “The night is dreary,

He cometh not,” she said;

She said “I am aweary, aweary,

I would that I were dead!”

All day within the dreamy house,

The doors upon their hinges creak’d;

The blue fly sung in the pane; the mouse

Behind the mouldering wainscot shriek’d,

Or from the crevice peer’d about.

Old faces glimmer’d thro’ the doors

Old footsteps trod the upper floors,

Old voices called her from without.

She only said, “My life is dreary,

He cometh not,” she said;

She said, “I am aweary, aweary,

I would that I were dead!”

The sparrow’s chirrup on the roof,

The slow clock ticking, and the sound

Which to the wooing wind aloof

The poplar made, did all confound

Her sense; but most she loathed the hour

When the thick-moted sunbeam lay

Athwart the chambers, and the day

Was sloping toward his western bower.

Then said she, “I am very dreary,

He will not come,” she said;

She wept, “I am aweary, aweary,

Oh God, that I were dead!”

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