In Memoriam A. H. H. OBIIT MDCCCXXXIII: 3

By Alfred, Lord Tennyson 1809–1892 Alfred, Lord Tennyson
O Sorrow, cruel fellowship,
         O Priestess in the vaults of Death,
         O sweet and bitter in a breath,
What whispers from thy lying lip?

"The stars," she whispers, "blindly run;
         A web is wov'n across the sky;
         From out waste places comes a cry,
And murmurs from the dying sun:

"And all the phantom, Nature, standsi
         With all the music in her tone,
         A hollow echo of my own,i
A hollow form with empty hands."

And shall I take a thing so blind,
         Embrace her as my natural good;
         Or crush her, like a vice of blood,
Upon the threshold of the mind?

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Poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson 1809–1892

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

Subjects Nature, Living, Sorrow & Grieving

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza, Series/Sequence

 Alfred, Lord  Tennyson

Biography

More than any other Victorian writer, Tennyson has seemed the embodiment of his age, both to his contemporaries and to modern readers. In his own day he was said to be—with Queen Victoria and Gladstone—one of the three most famous living persons, a reputation no other poet writing in English has ever had. As official poetic spokesman for the reign of Victoria, he felt called upon to celebrate a quickly changing industrial and . . .

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Poems by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Nature, Living, Sorrow & Grieving

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza, Series/Sequence

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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