She is coming, my own, my sweet;
Were it ever so airy a tread,
My heart would hear her and beat
Were it earth in an earthy bed;
My dust would hear her and beat,
Had I lain for a century dead;
Would start and tremble under her feet,
And blossom in purple and red.
From Maude--Alfred Tennyson
When Thomas Edison came to England in 1890 to capture Tennyson's voice on a wax cyclinder, they chose four excerpts from the poet's works for him to read. They included passages from "The Charge of the Light Brigade," "The Song of Elaine," "The Northern Farmer" and this, from the conclusion of Part I of Tennyson's 1855 monodrama, Maude. I heard John Betjeman play this on a BBC broadcast back in the 1970s, and it's stayed with me ever since.
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