It's deeply unfashionable, of course, but I love me some Lord Alfred Tennyson. "Ulysses" continues to resonate strongly with me:
I am a part of all that I have met;
Yet all experience is an arch wherethro'
Gleams that untravell'd world whose margin fades
For ever and for ever when I move.
How dull it is to pause, to make an end,
To rust unburnish'd, not to shine in use!
As tho' to breathe were life! Life piled on life
Were all too little, and of one to me
Little remains; but every hour is saved
From that eternal silence, something more,
A bringer of new things; and vile it were
For some three suns to store and hoard myself,
And this gray spirit yearning in desire
To follow knowledge like a sinking star,
Beyond the utmost bound of human thought.
Tithonus is magnificent too. What gets me about Tennyson is how he is often branded 'sentimental' and 'feeble' (mostly by my beloved modernist poets and critics) - and yet the poet I encounter strives to understand the world around him through characters (just like my beloved modernist poets). I read Tennyson's dramatic monologues and find a restless mind. That's someone as far from sentimental and feeble as you can get.
Now, I've never understood the love for Robert Browning..