Certainly it is quite an adventure to reach the isles or Hades or somewhere that human beings normally do not reach while alive. So line 1 is pure iambic pentameter, five equal feet.
Full Analysis of Ulysses Line By Line Ulysses is a dramatic monologue, the speaker, Ulysses himself, reflecting on his current domestic situation, looking back to when his life was exciting and adrenaline filled, looking forward to more of the same now that his son Telemachus can rule the kingdom of Ithaca.
Perhaps they even will reach the Happy Isles and meet Achilles. It little profits that an idle king, By this still hearth, among these barren crags, Match'd with an aged wife, I mete and dole Unequal laws unto a savage race, That hoard, and sleep, and feed, and know not me.
Telemachus knows nothing of adventure and battle but will duly rule the kingdom because he is dutiful and ready to take over the household gods. And of In Memoriam, already mentioned, Tennyson once famously said that it was more hopeful than he was himself among other things, he struggled to maintain the hope that he and Hallam would see each other in heaven.
Not to exist like brutes, but made were ye To follow virtue and intelligence'. For example, the second paragraph 33—43 about Telemachus, in which Ulysses muses again about domestic life, is a "revised version [of lines 1—5] for public consumption":  a "savage race" is revised to a "rugged people".
But, if the first line is read slowly with one ear on the metrical beat this appositional opening makes sense.
Even Ulysses' resolute final utterance—"To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield"—is undercut by irony, when Baum and later critics compare this line to Satan 's "courage never to submit or yield" in John Milton 's Paradise Lost Light fades, and the day wanes.
Whereas in Dante, Ulysses has died, here he holds out hope that he will reach the heavenly isles where someone like vigorous Achilles deserves to spend eternity.
The poem was written in and published in Poems in It was more written with the feeling of his loss upon me than many poems.