"Enoch Arden" is a poem published in 1864 by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, during his tenure as England's Poet Laureate.
The hero of the poem, fisherman turned merchant sailor Enoch Arden, leaves his wife Annie and three children to go to sea with his old captain, who is offering him work. Enoch had lost his job when he fell victim to an accident; in a manner that reflects the hero's masculine view of personal toil and hardship to support his family, Enoch Arden left his family to better serve them as a husband and father. However during his voyage he is shipwrecked and remains lost and missing for ten years.
He finds upon his return from the sea that, after his long absence, his wife, who believed him dead, is married happily to another man, his childhood friend Philip (Annie has known both men since her childhood, thus the rivalry), and has a child by him. Enoch's life remains unfulfilled, with one of his children now dead, and his wife and remaining children now being cared for by his onetime rival.
Tragically Enoch does not ever reveal to his wife and children that he is really alive, and dies of a broken heart.
The theme could be considered a variation on and antithesis to the Classical myth of Odyseus, who after an absence of ten years at sea found a faithful wife who had been loyally waiting for him.
— Excerpted from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Table of Contents:
In The Valley of Cauteretz
The Sailor Boy
A Welcome To Alexandra
Ode Sung at the Opening of the International Exhibition
Specimen of a Translation of the Iliad in Blank Verse