Break, Break, Break | Alfred Lord Tennyson, 1835

Roy Lichtenstein, Sea Shore, 1964


Break, break, break,
On thy cold gray stones, O Sea!
And I would that my tongue could utter
The thoughts that arise in me.

O, well for the fisherman's boy,
That he shouts with his sister at play!
O, well for the sailor lad,
That he sings in his boat on the bay!

And the stately ships go on
To their haven under the hill;
But O for the touch of a vanished hand,
And the sound of a voice that is still!

Break, break, break,
At the foot of thy crags, O Sea!
But the tender grace of a day that is dead
Will never come back to me.

Break, Break, Break,  Alfred Lord Tennyson, 1835

 Illustration to the poem by W. E. F. Britten, 1901

The poem is an elegy that describes Tennyson's feelings of loss after Arthur Henry Hallam 
died and his feelings of isolation while at Mablethorpe, Lincolnshire. He is standing on the 
rocky sea shore and writing this poem.


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