Crossing The Bar Poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson

Crossing The Bar

Rating: 3.2

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 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 crost the bar.

Hugh Covington 08 April 2009

Our mother recited this poem from her hospital bed eight years ago. It was the last time I saw her alive. She passed a few days later at 89, a gifted woman who gave way more than she received. Last night my sister and I recalled that day in the hospital. Couldn't remember who wrote it, so after we hung up I pulled out Bartlett's Quotations, and there it was, Tennyson's 'Crossing the Bar'. As I read it, I remembered the twinkle in Mom's eye and her smile. I called sis back and told her who and where. It's a great poem and very special to us. Hugh C.

34 7 Reply
Thomas Vaughan Jones 15 January 2014

At the time of writing, Tennyson was losing his sight and preparing to meet his final days. Each stanza metaphorically demonstrates the way he wanted his life to be celebrated. Read carefully between the lines and it can be discovered that he likened his life to a voyage, and from that voyage he was preparing to sail back home to his Maker. The “bar” is in fact that sandbank that lies in the estuary of a river. The sand moans softly under the weight of the outgoing tide, symbolising the notion of friends weeping as he departed. And of course, the “bourne, ” his point of departure, is his little kingdom, the mouth of his river. A truly spiritual and majestic poem, a brave and inspiring monument to an extremely brave man.

25 5 Reply
Gorden Schweers 08 February 2008

This is one of the most powerful poems of all time. It was read as an eulogy for Helen Nearing, and is a tribute to the courage each of us has to face our lives with commitment for a journey none understands completely.

23 7 Reply
Walterrean Salley 01 April 2013

An endearing and enduring masterpiece. A poem that has been used to console and encourage the heart of many for over a century. A 'sincere thank' you to the Late Mr. A. L. Tennyson.

25 4 Reply
Christopher Tye 20 October 2017

One of Tennyson's finest poems and one the greatest poems about ageing and mortality ever written. So much wisdom and so many feelings conveyed by someone facing their death.

23 1 Reply
Jodi Lassell 23 September 2022

i love this poem. It reminds of a young little boy pretending to be a strong mighty sailor.

0 0 Reply

My brother-in-law posted this poem with my late husband's photo.My husband served in the Coast Guard for 26 years.He passed away last month after a 16 month battle with brain cancer..In my opinion this poem is one of the best poems ever written about dying and death..

0 0 Reply
Aseye Emmanuel 15 December 2019

The poem Crossing the bar is so fantastic

1 0 Reply
Malcolm Dale 23 August 2019

UGH horrible reading by robot. Can't you find a human to do it.

0 2 Reply
Savita Tyagi 12 October 2018

Beautiful poem. Goes to my poem list.

0 2 Reply
Error Success