The following canto is part of a poem written by Alfred, lord Tennyson, and dedicated to the memory of his friend Arthur Henry Hallam, who died of brain haemorrhage at a young age in 1833.
The imagery of these verses is shocking.
"Time" is "a maniac scattering dust".
"Life" is "a Fury slinging flame".
Tennyson works magic through his words.
Faith acquires the physical properties of water in the lines: "Be near me when my faith is dry," so that we may feel what it means to lose it.
While "Men are "the flies of latter spring" and their fate is laid out for us in a vivid and raw analogy.
There is something immortal about these lines.
Eespecially those of the final verse.
Each time I read them, I find a new depth to them.
And they echo inside me for hours.
by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Be near me when my light is low,
When the blood creeps, and the nerves prick
And tingle; and the heart is sick,
And all the wheels of Being slow.
Be near me when the sensuous frame
Is rack'd with pangs that conquer trust;
And Time, a maniac scattering dust,
And Life, a Fury slinging flame.
Be near me when my faith is dry,
And men the flies of latter spring,
That lay their eggs, and sting and sing
And weave their petty cells and die.
Be near me when I fade away,
To point the term of human strife,
And on the low dark verge of life
The twilight of eternal day.