Alfred Tennyson, 1st Baron Tennyson

6 August 1809 – 6 October 1892


Place of birth: Somersby, Lincolnshire, England, U.K.
Best thing about him: One of the most popular British poets
Most important work: Ulysses, The Lady of Shalott
Interesting facts:

  • Many of the phrases used in his poems have become commonplaces of the English language
  • He was appointed Poet Laureate of Great Britain and Ireland from 1859 to 1892
  • In The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations he is 9th in the list of most frequently quoted writers


Alfred Tennyson’s 20 most beautiful quotes:

1.”Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.”

2.”Better not be at all than not be noble.”

3.”Nor is it wiser to weep a true occasion lost, but trim our sails, and let old bygones be.”

4.”Who are wise in love, love most, say least.”

5.”A lie that is half-truth is the darkest of all lies.”

6.”No man ever got very high by pulling other people down. The intelligent merchant does not knock his competitors. The sensible worker does not knock those who work with him. Don’t knock your friends. Don’t knock your enemies. Don’t knock yourself.”


7.”Theirs not to reason why, theirs but to do and die.”

8.”My strength is as the strength of ten, because my heart is pure.”

9.”Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers.”

10.”To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”

11.”Self-reverence, self-knowledge, self-control; these three alone lead one to sovereign power.”

12.”A smile abroad is often a scowl at home.”

13.”I must lose myself in action, lest I wither in despair.”

14.”Dreams are true while they last, and do we not live in dreams?”

15.”By blood a king, in heart a clown.”


16.”Words, like nature, half reveal and half conceal the soul within.”

17.”A sorrow’s crown of sorrow is remembering happier things.”

18.”We cannot be kind to each other here for even an hour. We whisper, and hint, and chuckle and grin at our brother’s shame; however you take it we men are a little breed.”

19.”If I make dark my countenance, I shut my life from happier chance.”

20.”He makes no friends who never made a foe.”

21.”‘Tis held that sorrow makes us wise.”

22.”Too much wit makes the world rotten.”

23.”Forward, forward let us range, Let the great world spin for ever down the ringing grooves of change.”