Tennyson pp 39-40 | Cite as

Walks with Tennyson

  • Louisa Ward
Part of the Interviews and Recollections book series (IR)


‘During my father’s absences in London and elsewhere, I was free to go and stay there as often and for as long as I liked. I used to go for long walks, sometimes alone with Mr Tennyson, sometimes in the company of other guests, of whom Mr Jowett was one of the most frequent. Tennyson in these walks would rise to the highest themes, and thread his way through the deepest speculations till I caught the infection of his mind, and the questions of matter and spirit, and of time and eternity, and such kindred subjects, became to me the burning questions, the supreme interests of life. But however absorbed he might be in earnest talk, his eye and ear were always alive to the natural objects around him. I have heard him stop short in a sentence to listen to a blackbird’s song, to watch the sunlight glint on a butterfly’s wing, or to examine a field flower at his feet.’ I [Agnes Weld] cannot resist here interrupting Mrs Ward’s notes to illustrate them by telling how, when walking one day with the present Rector of Corfe Castle, along the top of Watcombe Bay—that picturesque little cove dear to Tennyson from a sense of his lord-of-themanorship over it as well as from its own beauty—my uncle stopped suddenly in a line of argument to point out the sunlight gilding to a deeper golden shade the fragile rock-cistus bloom at his feet, and, tenderly plucking the delicate flower, he held it lovingly in his hand, and, looking up, said ‘There is not a flower on all this Down that owes to the sun what I owe to Christ.’


Field Flower Natural Object Good Scholar Fine Type Publisher Limited 
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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Louisa Ward

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