Ulysses Complete Text
- It little profits that an idle king,
By this still hearth, among these barren crags,
Match’d with an aged wife, I mete and dole
Unequal laws unto a savage race,
That hoard, and sleep, and feed, and know not me.
I cannot rest from travel: I will drink
Life to the lees: All times I have enjoy’d
Greatly, have suffer’d greatly, both with those
That loved me, and alone, on shore, and when
Thro’ scudding drifts the rainy Hyades
Vext the dim sea: I am become a name;
For always roaming with a hungry heart
Much have I seen and known; cities of men
And manners, climates, councils, governments,
Myself not least, but honour’d of them all;
And drunk delight of battle with my peers,
Far on the ringing plains of windy Troy.
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.
How dull it is to pause, to make an end,
To rust unburnish’d, not to shine in use!
As tho’ to breathe were life! Life piled on life
Were all too little, and of one to me
Little remains: but every hour is saved
From that eternal silence, something more,
A bringer of new things; and vile it were
For some three suns to store and hoard myself,
And this gray spirit yearning in desire
To follow knowledge like a sinking star,
Beyond the utmost bound of human thought.
This is my son, mine own Telemachus,
To whom I leave the sceptre and the isle,—
Well-loved of me, discerning to fulfil
This labour, by slow prudence to make mild
A rugged people, and thro’ soft degrees
Subdue them to the useful and the good.
Most blameless is he, centred in the sphere
Of common duties, decent not to fail
In offices of tenderness, and pay
Meet adoration to my household gods,
When I am gone. He works his work, I mine.
There lies the port; the vessel puffs her sail:
There gloom the dark, broad seas. My mariners,
Souls that have toil’d, and wrought, and thought with me—
That ever with a frolic welcome took
The thunder and the sunshine, and opposed
Free hearts, free foreheads—you and I are old;
Old age hath yet his honor and his toil;
Death closes all: but something ere the end,
Some work of noble note may yet be done,
Not unbecoming men that strove with Gods.
The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks:
The long day wanes: the slow moon climbs: the deep
Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends,
’Tis not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, and sitting well in order smite
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.
It may be that the gulfs will wash us down:
It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,
And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.
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 Tennyson’s Poems “Ulysses read more…..……..
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.
Ulysses (Odysseus) declares that there’s little point in his staying home “by this still hearth” together with his old wife, dispensing rewards and punishments for the unnamed masses who sleep in his kingdom.
Still chatting with himself he proclaims that he “cannot rest from travel” but feels compelled to measure to the fullest and swallow all drop of life. He has enjoyed all his experiences as a sailor who travels the seas, and he considers himself a logo for everybody who wanders and roams the world. His travels have exposed him to several different types of individuals and ways of living. they need also exposed him to the “delight of battle” while fighting the Trojan War together with his men. Ulysses declares that his travels and encounters have shaped who he is: “I am a neighborhood of all that I even have met,” he asserts. And it’s only he’s traveling that the “margin” of the world that he has not yet traversed shrink and fade, and cease to goad him.
Ulysses declares that it’s boring to remain in one place, which to remain stationary is to rust instead of to shine; to stay in one place is to pretend that each one there’s to life is that the simple act of breathing, whereas he knows that actually life contains much novelty, and he longs to encounter this. His spirit yearns constantly for brand spanking new experiences which will broaden his horizons; he wishes “to follow knowledge sort of a sinking star” and forever grow in wisdom and learning.
Ulysses now speaks to an unidentified audience concerning his son Telemachus, who will act as his successor while the good hero resumes his travels: he says, “This is my son, mine own Telemachus, To whom I leave the scepter and therefore the isle.” He speaks highly but also patronizingly of his son’s capabilities as a ruler, praising his prudence, dedication, and devotion to the gods. Telemachus will do his work of governing the island while Ulysses will do his work of traveling the seas: “He works his work, I mine.”
In the final stanza, Ulysses addresses the mariners with whom he has worked, traveled, and weathered life’s storms over a few years. He declares that although he and that they are old, they still have the potential to try to something noble and honorable before “the long day wanes.” He encourages them to form the use of their adulthood because “ ’is not too late to hunt a more modern world.” He declares that his goal is to sail onward “beyond the sunset” until his death. Perhaps, he suggests, they’ll even reach the “Happy Isles,” or the paradise of perpetual summer described in Greek mythology where great heroes just like the warrior Achilles were believed to possess been taken after their deaths. Although Ulysses and his mariners aren’t as strong as they were in youth, they’re “strong in will” and are sustained by their resolve to push onward relentlessly: “To strive, to seek, to find, and to not yield.”
This poem is written as a dramatic monologue: the whole poem is spoken by one character, whose identity is revealed by his own words. The lines are in the poem, or unrhymed iambic pentameter, which serves to impart a fluid and natural quality to Ulysses’s speech. Many of the lines are enjambed, which suggests that an idea doesn’t end with the line-break; the sentences often end within the middle, instead of the top, of the lines. the utilization of enjambment is acceptable during a poem about pushing forward “beyond the utmost bound of human thought.” Finally, the poem is split into four paragraph-like sections, each of which comprises a definite thematic unit of the poem.