It was Mrs. B. who was charged with teaching some English Literature to 3A. We weren't very fond of Mrs. B., not even when our class teacher assured us she was really quite fun, had once had too many glasses of sherry, fallen asleep and woken to find her toes were "all curled up like little rosebuds".
So, poor Mrs. B. had an uphill struggle to teach us to appreciate poetry. All the same, she must have done something right because I still remember where Tennyson went to school (in Louth, in the same county as our school - give or take 200 years) and this passage from the Lotus Eaters:
There is sweet music here that softer falls
Than petals from blown roses on the grass,
Or night-dews on still waters between walls
Of shadowy granite, in a gleaming pass;
Music that gentlier on the spirit lies,
Than tir'd eyelids upon tir'd eyes;
Music that brings sweet sleep down from the blissful skies.
Here are cool mosses deep,
And thro' the moss the ivies creep,
And in the stream the long-leaved flowers weep,
And from the craggy ledge the poppy hangs in sleep.
I read today that 6 August 2009 is the 200th anniversary of Tennyson's birth, and all at once all these snippets of information came popping back into my mind. But I have to tell you, Mrs. B., while the phrase does linger in the mind, describing toes as rosebuds just doesn't work.