A Sonnet by Alfred Lord Tennyson

“Then what is life?” I cried. From his rent deeps

Of soul the poet cast that burning word;

And it should seem as though his prayer was heard,

For he died soon; and now his rest he keeps

Somewhere with the great spirit who never sleeps!

He had left us to murmur on awhile

And question still most fruitlessly this pile

Of natural shows, What life is? Why man weeps?

Why sins?–and whither when the awful veil

Floats on to him he sinks from earthly sight?

Some are, who never grow a whit more pale

For thinking on the general mystery,

Ground of all being; yet may I rather be

Of those who know and feel that it is night.

[Analysis of A Question by Shelley]