Gateway to the Classics: Poems Every Child Should Know by Mary E. Burt
Poems Every Child Should Know by  Mary E. Burt

Crossing the Bar

Tennyson's (1809-92) "Crossing the Bar" is one of the noblest death-songs ever written. I include it in this volume out of respect to a young Philadelphia publisher who recited it one stormy night before the passengers of a ship when I was crossing the Atlantic, and also because so many young people have the good taste to love it. It has been said that next to Browning's "Prospice" it is the greatest death-song ever written.

Sunset and evening star,

And one clear call for me!

And may there be no moaning of the bar,

When I put out to sea,

But such a tide as moving seems asleep,

Too full for sound and foam,

When that which drew from out the boundless deep

Turns again home.

Twilight and evening bell,

And after that the dark!

And may there be no sadness of farewell,

When I embark;

For tho' from out our bourne of Time and Place

The flood may bear me far,

I hope to see my Pilot face to face

When I have cross'd the bar.

Alfred Tennyson.

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