Alfred Lord Tennyson

(6 August 1809 – 6 October 1892 / Lincoln / England)

The Owl - Poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson

When cats run home and light is come,
And dew is cold upon the ground,
And the far-off stream is dumb,
And the whirring sail goes round,
And the whirring sail goes round;
Alone and warming his five wits,
The white owl in the belfry sits.

When merry milkmaids click the latch,
And rarely smells the new-mown hay,
And the cock hath sung beneath the thatch
Twice or thrice his roundelay,
Twice or thrice his roundelay;
Alone and warming his five wits,
The white owl in the belfry sits.


Comments about The Owl by Alfred Lord Tennyson

  • (9/9/2017 4:59:00 PM)


    My uncle learned this as a young boy in school in the 1930's...he can still recite it today. i think that is why it is a special poem for me. Tennyson's words stir my imagination and I can picture these scenes in such vivid detail in my mind's eye. (Report) Reply

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  • (5/12/2016 6:54:00 AM)


    We learned this at school in the late 1940's and it was sung, but not having musical know how I can't put the notes down, always loved it as it conjured up countryside and a different way of living, to a child living in Glasgow. So glad I've found it. (Report) Reply

    (9/9/2017 5:06:00 PM)

    My uncle lived in the Manchester area and learned this in school in the late 1930's..maybe it was on the curriculum for city kids! It did the same thing for him..it stirred a curiosity of the countryside..he became a warden and patrolled a large area of countryside in the Lancashire/Derbyshire area..he still has a great love of the countryside and the animals and can still recite this poem. Nice to hear that you sang it too in Glasgow.

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Read poems about / on: alone, home, light, cat, running



Poem Submitted: Thursday, January 1, 2004



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