To see a world in a grain of sand
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour. ...
In regard to metaphors drawn from science, [Tennyson] made sure of their truth. To secure accuracy, he spared no pains. I found in his room charts of isothermals and isobars intended to ensure the exactitude of certain allusions of his to physical science. The late Lord Houghton once told me that, having composed an exquisite poem upon a flower, Tennyson discarded it because of some botanical flaw.
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