The Brook Summary & Analysis by Alfred Lord Tennyson

Alfred lord tennyson the brook.small

British poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson penned “The Brook” in 1886, just six years before his death. The poem is a ballad in which the speaker—the brook, or stream, itself—undertakes a long and winding journey across the countryside to join up with a large river. Tucked inside this seemingly sweet poem about a little stream are darker, more poignant themes of death, human impermanence, and nature's indifference to humankind, though the poem also emphasizes nature's sheer beauty. The poem’s most notable characteristic is its refrain, “For men may come and men may go, / But I go on for ever,” which appears four times throughout the poem and captures both the fleetingness of human life and the constancy of nature.

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