Alfred Tennyson on duty and glory

Not once or twice in our rough island-story,
The path of duty was the way to glory:
He that walks it, only thirsting
For the right, and learns to deaden
Love of self, before his journey closes,
He shall find the stubborn thistle bursting
Into glossy purples, which outredden
All voluptuous garden-roses.
Not once or twice in our fair island-story,
The path of duty was the way to glory:
He, that ever following her commands,
On with toil of heart and knees and hands,
Thro’ the long gorge to the far light has won
His path upward, and prevail’d,
Shall find the toppling crags of Duty scaled
Are close upon the shining table-lands
To which our God Himself is moon and sun.
Alfred Tennyson in “Ode on the Death of the Duke of Wellington“, (1852).
Available in The Poetical Works of Alfred Tennyson, (Boston: Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1881), p. 161.

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"Not once or twice in our rough island-story"
Alfred Tennyson Posted on behalf of Alfred Tennyson on Saturday, February 13th, 2010 under Quotations.

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