Crossing the Bar: Alfred Lord Tennyson

My youngest son and I enjoy reading poetry together. Yes, he's only 4 years old, but he can quote many poems from memory and can tell you the names of the poets for all his favorites.

Yesterday, as word circulated that another student from our local high school had died in a car accident (the third student this school year) I thought of one of the poems I often read with my son.

"Crossing the Bar" by Alfred Lord Tennyson captures beautifully the bittersweet hopefulness of that moment when earthly life ends and life in heaven begins.

"Crossing the Bar"
Alfred Lord Tennyson

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 the be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;

For though 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 crossed the bar.

For an added layer of beauty, take a moment and listen to a musical setting of Tennyson's poem, by the exceptional Gwyneth Walker.


  1. Such a sad, but beautiful poem. I'm sorry to hear of the loss of such potential. Such a tragedy.

  2. Amy:
    I love Tennyson. I write haiku poetry to help build my vocabulary.
    I'm sorry to hear about the students. What a terrible, terrible shame.