Calm is the morn without a sound,
Calm as to suit a calmer grief,
And only thro' the faded leaf
The chestnut pattering to the ground:
Calm and deep peace on this high wold,
And on these dews that drench the furze,
And all the silvery gossamers
That twinkle into green and gold:
Calm and still light on yon great plain
That sweeps with all its autumn bowers,
And crowded farms and lessening towers,
To mingle with the bounding main:
Calm and deep peace in this wide air,
These leaves that redden to the fall;
And in my heart, if calm at all,
If any calm, a calm despair:
Calm on the seas, and silver sleep,
And waves that sway themselves in rest,
And dead calm in that noble breast
Which heaves but with the heaving deep.
- Do you get the impression that the main theme in this section is—wait for it—"calm"? Ding, ding, ding—we have a winner.
- There's anaphora all throughout this canto with repetitions of "calm" at the beginning of tons of lines.
- This totally make sense, since Tennyson is now lapsing into what he calls a "calm despair."
- And check out how the imagery emphasizes this calmness.
- We have: a quiet morning, drops of dew coating the trees ("furze" is a type of tree), "silvery gossamers" (which are probably spiderwebs that are highlighted with dew and sunlight), and ocean waves that are now calm.
- What about sound here? Well, pay a short visit to "Sound Check" for some info on how consonance and assonance are working here. (Hint: they produce a lulling sound, which emphasizes, well...calm.)
- You should also notice the reference to "leaves that redden to the fall" in line 254. This is a reference to time passing, but so far we don't have a solid hook to hang this on, temporally speaking.