In Memoriam A. H. H. OBIIT MDCCCXXXIII: 30

By Alfred, Lord Tennyson 1809–1892 Alfred, Lord Tennyson
With trembling fingers did we weave
         The holly round the Christmas hearth;
         A rainy cloud possess'd the earth,
And sadly fell our Christmas-eve.

At our old pastimes in the hall
         We gambol'd, making vain pretence
         Of gladness, with an awful sense
Of one mute Shadow watching all.

We paused: the winds were in the beech:
         We heard them sweep the winter land;
         And in a circle hand-in-hand
Sat silent, looking each at each.

Then echo-like our voices rang;
         We sung, tho' every eye was dim,
         A merry song we sang with him
Last year: impetuously we sang:

We ceased: a gentler feeling crept
         Upon us: surely rest is meet:
         "They rest," we said, "their sleep is sweet,"
And silence follow'd, and we wept.

Our voices took a higher range;
         Once more we sang: "They do not die
         Nor lose their mortal sympathy,
Nor change to us, although they change;

"Rapt from the fickle and the frail
         With gather'd power, yet the same,
         Pierces the keen seraphic flame
From orb to orb, from veil to veil."

Rise, happy morn, rise, holy morn,
         Draw forth the cheerful day from night:
         O Father, touch the east, and light
The light that shone when Hope was born.

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Poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson 1809–1892

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

Subjects Religion, Living, Nature, Winter, Sorrow & Grieving, Christianity

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 Religion, Living, Nature, Winter, Sorrow & Grieving, Christianity

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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