In Memoriam A. H. H. OBIIT MDCCCXXXIII: 96

By Alfred, Lord Tennyson 1809–1892 Alfred, Lord Tennyson
You say, but with no touch of scorn,
         Sweet-hearted, you, whose light-blue eyes
         Are tender over drowning flies,
You tell me, doubt is Devil-born.

I know not: one indeed I knew
         In many a subtle question versed,
         Who touch'd a jarring lyre at first,
But ever strove to make it true:

Perplext in faith, but pure in deeds,
         At last he beat his music out.
         There lives more faith in honest doubt,
Believe me, than in half the creeds.

He fought his doubts and gather'd strength,
         He would not make his judgment blind,
         He faced the spectres of the mind
And laid them: thus he came at length

To find a stronger faith his own;
         And Power was with him in the night,
         Which makes the darkness and the light,
And dwells not in the light alone,

But in the darkness and the cloud,
         As over Sinaï's peaks of old,
         While Israel made their gods of gold,
Altho' the trumpet blew so loud.

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Poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson 1809–1892

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

Subjects Faith & Doubt, Religion

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 Faith & Doubt, Religion

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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