I leave thy praises unexpress'd In verse that brings myself relief, And by the measure of my grief I leave thy greatness to be guess'd;
What practice howsoe'er expert In fitting aptest words to things, Or voice the richest-toned that sings, Hath power to give thee as thou wert?
I care not in these fading days To raise a cry that lasts not long, And round thee with the breeze of song To stir a little dust of praise.
Thy leaf has perish'd in the green, And, while we breathe beneath the sun, The world which credits what is done Is cold to all that might have been.
So here shall silence guard thy fame; But somewhere, out of human view, Whate'er thy hands are set to do Is wrought with tumult of acclaim.
Wethinks the speaker doth protest too much. Here, he's claiming that he's not really praising Arthur to the rooftops in his poem. Well, he could have fooled us…
Even though he actually does lavish it on a bit thickly with Arthur, Tennyson claims that there's no need to. This is because, wherever his friend is now, he's doing things that will end up being praised with the "tumult of acclaim."