On His 80th Birthday, August 6th, 1889

The four-score years that blanch the heads of men
      Touch not the immortals, and we bring to-day
    No flowers to twine with laurel and with bay,
Seeing the spring is with thee now, as when
Above the wold and marsh and mellowing fen
    Thy song bade England listen.  Powers decay,
    Hands fail, and eyes, tongues scarce their will
      can say,
But still Heaven’s fire burns in thy hollow pen.

Oh, singer of the knightly days of old!
    Oh, ringer of the knell to lust and hate!
      Oh, bringer of new hope from memory’s shrine!
When God doth set in Heaven thy harp of gold,
    The souls that made this generation great
      Shall own, The voice that nerved their hearts
          was thine.

(Valete: Tennyson and other Memorial Poems, p. 20)