Three Victorian Lyrics

Song Cycle by Patrick Keen Enfield (b. 1929)

Word count: 110

?. Break, break, break [sung text not yet checked]

Break, break, [break,]1
  On [thy]2 cold grey stones, O Sea! 
And I would that my tongue could utter 
  The thoughts that arise in me. 

[O]3 well for the fisherman's boy, 
  That he shouts [with]4 his sister at play! 
[O]3 well for the sailor lad, 
  That he sings in his boat on the bay! 

And the stately ships [go]5 on 
  To their haven under the hill; 
But O for the touch of a [vanish'd]6 hand, 
  And the sound of a voice that is still! 

Break, break, [break,]1
  At the foot of thy crags, O Sea! 
But the tender grace of a day that is dead 
  Will never come back to me.

Authorship

See other settings of this text.

View original text (without footnotes)
Poet's note: "Made in a Lincolnshire lane at five o'clock in the morning, between blossoming hedges"
Written in memory of Tennyson's friend Arthur Hallam (d. 1833).
1 Végh: "o sea, o sea"
2 Manning: "the"
3 Manning: "Ah"
4 Manning: "to"
5 Manning: "sail"
6 Végh: "vanished"

Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor]