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Presented to the 
LIBRARY of the 


The Estate of the late 


Head of the 

Department of English 

University College 





In Memoriam 


Alfred, Lord Tennyson 


H. M. Percival 

Macmillan and Co., Limited 

New York : The Macmillan Company 

All rights resewed 



ti JAN 4 1966 




THESE pages are drawn up from notes of lectures to my 
English Classes. In them I have, as a rule, avoided all 
discussions, confining myself, on doubtful points, to 
stating my own view and leaving it to speak for itself : 
for in poetry, I have found, the right explanation is 
at once felt to be such by instinct or intuition, a 
something that discussion cannot help or shake. I have 
refrained from giving any parallel passages for two 
reasons : the one is that I have heard that Tennyson 
disliked them ; the other, that they have already been 
sufficiently given by others. While lecturing I looked 
into Mr. Tainsh's Studies and Dr. Bradley's Commentary, 
and derived much help from the latter, both from the 
author's own studies and from those of preceding com- 
mentators reproduced by him. I have also, since, 
looked at Mr. Genung's Study and Mr. Gatty's Key. 
What in my Notes and Analysis is due to help from 
all these sources, and what is given correctly for the 
first time, as well as what still remains without any 
correct explanation either from others or from me, the 
reader can find out for himself, if he cares. But I 
should like to think that the one thing he cares for 
is the poem itself, and not the comparative merits of 


commentaries on it : and I would ask him to try and 
understand the poem, not in the sense of an exercise 
of intellect and ingenuity, so much as in the light of a 
lay scripture given to us for the elevating and purifying 
of the emotions, and the chastening of the heart. 

H. M. P. 

Since the above was written, the Notes and Analysis 
have been revised throughout. I have also corrected 
my work from the recently published edition of In 
Mem&riam, annotated by the Author and edited by 
Hallam, Lord Tennyson, and also from the lattcr's 
Memoir of the poet. 

H. M. P. 




IN MEMORIAM, ........ 1 

NOTES, 120 


INTRODUCTION : O love of God, in whom we can have 
faith, but of whom we can have no knowledge, thou 
madest this universe of dead matter, and madest life and 
death and life after death for man. Why thou didst will 
to make them, we do not know, but that thou didst will to 
make them in justice we believe. The free will of man acts 
most in accordance with thy justice, when it acts in accord- 
ance with thy will. This harmony between thy will and 
the free will of man is what makes man divine and thee 
human. Man's free will sets up different religions to manifest 
this harmony this obedience to thy will but being imper- 
fect they pass away, while thou, the object of their obedience, 
of their worship, being perfect, continuest unchanged. All 
this man does in faith, not in knowledge : for faith is 
of what we see not, knowledge is of what we see. But 
knowledge comes to us as a gift from thee, therefore let it 
increase in us ; but let reverence for thee that faith inspires 
also increase in us, so that man's nature mind and soul 
may form one harmonious whole. Forgive my sin, if I have 
sinned, forgive what I thought to be my merit, if ever I 
had merit, for thou art judge of both. Forgive, lastly, my 
grief for my dead friend and its expression in this poem, 
if under the anguish of that grief, my will once rebelled 
against thine, and I sinned in calling in question thy 
justice : for now I have recovered my faith, and believe 
that my friend, dead to me, still lives in thee. 

I. We change with time : my present loss may be 

changed to future gain ; but now I cannot look into that 

future : now grief for one lost fills my breast, and my love 

for him I have lost clings to my grief, for fear both should 

b ix 


cease together, and time should scornfully point to me as 
the man that had ceased to grieve for what he once had 

II. This yew tree, never losing its gloom, summer or 
winter, makes me for a moment think that its stubborn 
endurance, its seeming insensibility to change, may be mine. 

III. The sorrow that teaches falsely that blind fate rules 
the destiny of the soul of man, as it rules the destiny of 
inanimate nature : and that both are mere phantoms, 
delusions, destined to pass away into nothingness : shall I 
accept her fellowship, or refuse her entrance into my heart ? 

IV. At night, during what should be the hours of sleep, 
an undefinable sense of loss benumbs me into a state in 
which I cannot even ask what it is that I have lost, but only 
wish for death : with the morning I shake off this torpor, 
and resolve to find relief for my grief. 

V. Such relief I do find in committing my grief to words 
in these poems ; though words but half express my deep 

VI. " Death is a calamity common to the human race : 
and the living should console us for the dead : " says one 
no, they cannot : bear witness, parents who have lost sons, 
the betrothed that has lost her future lord, I that have lost 
my friend bear witness all, that by a sudden death, have 
lost what can never be replaced. Perpetual maidenhood for 
her, no second friend for me, to replace the one I have lost. 

VII. VIII. The associations with his memory his house, 
the fields where we walked together are now darkened by 
his death. But that gift of poetry in me whose productions 
pleased him, will again be exercised by me in writing this 
elegy, to be dedicated to his memory. 

IX-XVII. [Tennyson begins this poem of his grief here, 
by an address to the ship that bears his friend's remains to 
his native land, from foreign shores. This address begins 
and ends with the same words, (" He whom I shall not see, 
till all my widowed race be run,") and throughout keeps 
before our eyes the constant theme of his grief.] 

IX, X. Wind and water and the heavens may they all 
prosper the ship that bears him to these shores : for it is 
a human weakness an "idle dream" to wish to be our- 
selves buried, and see those we loved also buried, in con- 
secrated ground, in our own native land : [and not, like 
Lycidas, be swallowed up by the ocean, or, like Keats, rest 
in foreign soil.] 


XI. Calm of nature all around me : but only the restless 
calm of despair within me. Calm on the sea, and the still 
calm of death in the breast of him that it bears to me. 

XII- XIV. My restless spirit, at one time, flies forth to 
meet the ship in mid ocean ; at another, fancies that it is 
all a dream that he is not dead, and that when the ship 
arrives I may see him and meet him in life and unchanged 
and ready to greet me as of old. 

XV. Nature changes her mood from calm (s. xi) to rough, 
and my mind, as if in response, seems to change from calm 
despair to wild unrest, in keeping with this change. 

XVI. But can the mind that suffers sorrow so change? 
Or is this change merely of surface moods, passing over the 
unchanging depths of grief ? Or has the shock of this trouble 
stunned my mind and made me confound the true with the 
false ? 

XVII. [The ship arrives with her precious burden, and 
the poet dismisses her from his thoughts, with fervent 
blessings on her future voyages.] 

XVIII. [The funeral, January 1834.] My "home-bred 
fancy" is gratified, and he is buried in the land where he 
was born. And yet would that I might breathe even now 
my almost dying life into my friend. 

XIX. XX. The two griefs the deeper and the lighter 
that, like the flood and ebb tides of the Severn, on whose 
shores he lies buried, flow and ebb in my heart. The deeper 
grief unutterable, unhealable, life- long the lesser grief 
relieving itself by finding utterance in song. 

XXI. My song is as the song of one that mourns by the 
grave. Those who, passing by, hear me, scoff or deride or 
are indignant. But they knew not him whom I mourn, and 
know not that I mourn because I must, as a bird mourns in 
song when her young ones are stolen away, because she 
cannot help it. 

XXII, XXIII. From the grave my mind goes back along 
the pathway of life to the four happy years of friendship, 
and to that fifth year when we met the shadow, death, lying 
in wait, who snatched my friend away, and who I think now 
lies in wait for me too. And I walk along, alone, weary, 
desolate, to meet the shadow ; and I cry how changed is the 
path here from what it was when we two together walked 
along it in perfect fellowship of youth and intellectual 
pursuits, and all things around us seemed fair and good 
and full of hope, 


XXIV. But was the past indeed so perfect, or does it 
only seem so now by contrast with the present or through 
the enchantment distance lends ? 

XXV-XXVII. No : it was not perfect, and these four 
years were years of chequered human life : but they were 
years of love, and love halves the burden of life : and I will 
drag myself along this weary path of life, only to prove that 
love cannot die ; and if my love is destined to die, then may 
I meet that shadow may I die to-night ; for I care not for 
life without freedom, without moral law, without love. 

XXVIII, XXIX. Christmas Eve [of ; 34] conies round with 
its old customs carols and the holly bough : and we, the 
friends of him who is dead, do not omit to observe these 
time-honoured outward forms of customary rejoicing. 

XXX. And our hearts rise through successive steps, from 
sadness, first, to a vain attempt at rejoicing, then to a 
peaceful feeling that he is at rest in the grave, and, last, to 
a happy feeling that he is risen from the grave, and is now 
a free spirit ranging the Universe. For, is not to-morrow 
the anniversary of the birth of Him who brought hope into 
the world ? 

XXXI, XXXII. When Lazarus was raised from the dead, 
those dearest to him were filled to the full with happiness 
at the bare event. They did not ask questions as to what 
it is to die, and where the dead go after death. It is enough 
for them that he was dead and is alive again, and that He 
who had brought him from death back to life is before them ; 
faith in whom gratitude towards whom fill all their soul, 
and leave no room for curiosity and subtle speculations 
regarding the next world, but lead them to show it in prayer 
and good works and purity of life. 

XXXIII. Such faith as theirs faith through form is 
not less pure, is not less conducive to purity of life, and 
is more fruitful of good works, than faith that does not show 
itself in outward form, and holds solely by the law within. 

XXXIV, XXXV. But to me, to die at once even by 
my own hand would be preferable to life, prolonged with- 
out faith in a future life : and love, without such faith, 
would be the love of an hour, the fellowship of brute animal 
natures. Nor would the sight of inanimate soulless nature, 
ever passing from existence to destruction, reconcile me to 
the idea of a similar birth and death of love in me : for love 
that can die is love without sweetness love already half- 


XXXVI. Though man may darkly guess of the Word of 
God of spiritual truths (such as the immortality of the 
soul and of love) in his own nature, yet it is the embodiment 
of spiritual truths in a perfect life the Word becoming man 
in Christ that made them dear to all even to the humblest 

XXXVII. The heavenly muse (whose sons alone are 
privileged to unveil the mysteries of the next life) rebukes 
my earthly muse for attempting such a task. My muse 
replies that she attempts to unveil no mysteries, but only 
seeks to relieve her aching heart by brooding on subjects 
that the dear dead one loved to talk about. 

XXXVIII. Spring comes but brings with it no joy for 
me ; but the simple poetry of grief, such as this elegy is, 
gives me some little consolation (that neither theology 
(xxxii), nor philosophic religion (xxxiii), nor the poetry 
that professes to have penetrated the veil of the Divine 
Mysteries of the next world (xxxvii), could have given) : 
and may possibly be pleasing to him of whom I sing. 

XXXIX. XL. No analogy from things around me can 
lessen my grief : neither the blossoming into life of this 
yew tree, after the death of winter ; nor the thought that 
his death on earth was his marriage into Heaven. The 
reason why. 

XLI. During life I was linked with him in his progress 
upwards, but now I feel as if he is a stranger to me and I 
shall be partaker of his progress no more : and that if I were 
to die this instant I could only follow his mounting steps 
in the next world with the interval of a life between us for 
all eternity. 

X LIL But this is an idle fancy ; for during life on earth he 
ranked above me, and yet we were not strangers to each 
other ; and so there too we may still be friends, and I shall 
have the happiness of reaping the fruits of his larger 

XLIII. May not death be a sleep, during which the 
memories of our friendship on earth, like a flower folded by 
night, also sleeps? If so, it will awaken as pure and 
whole as before, when the soul awakens to the life after 

XLIV. On earth man grows in mind and body, but he 
forgets the days of infancy, except faint flashes, perhaps, of 
reminiscence. In the next world, does man, as he ever 
grows in spiritual powers, have faint reminiscences, too, 


of his life on earth ? If he has, then, O ! raay you not 
remember me there, even as I remember you here ? 

XLV. After the years of infancy, we learn to realise our 
separate identity on earth, and begin to have clear memory 
of what thenceforward we identify as our lives. Even so, 
we do not forget this separate identity after death, nor 
lose the memory of this our life on death. (Therefore he 
in the next world will remember that he is that Hallam 
who on earth was the friend of Tennyson for those four 
dear years.) 

XL VI. Nay, more : memory here on earth may grow faint 
and broken, but in the next world the memory of life on 
earth will appear vivid, continuous as in a landscape. But 
love cannot last but for four brief years, or even for the 
whole of this brief life on earth : its star will brood over 
the whole of life this and the next. . 

XL VII. Vague and gloomy is that philosophic doctrine 
that teaches of the destruction of the personality the 
identity of the individual soul and of its re-absorption into 
the universal soul. If this doctrine is true, love asks at 
least a moment for farewell. 

XL VIII. But neither are these songs of mine a solution 
of these questions further than that they solve them as love 

XLIX. Neither poetry, nor nature, nor philosophy and 
theology, touch deeper than the surface of my grief. 

L. And nothing but the invisible presence of my dead 
friend can support me and keep me from sinking into the 
depths of grief. 

LI, LII. The presence of the dead is like the all-seeing 
eye of God no human faults can escape it : and like His 
all-embracing mercy it forgives human faults and treasures 
up human virtue and merit for reward. 

LIII. For human virtue, at best, is to have experience of 
both good and evil, and then to choose the good. But it is 
dangerous to tell this to the young, who are still circling in 
the eddies of passion. Bather hold fast to the good, and so 
set an example, lest such philosophising should prove to be 
only an encouragement to evil. 

LIV. But I hope that not only will good come out of 
evil, but every seeming present evil is a future final good. 

LV. Nature's law seems rudely to shake this my optimism ; 
for that law requires the sacrifice of the individual for the 
welfare of the race requires some to suffer in order that 


others may enjoy does not bestow good on some without 
inflicting evil on others. 

LVI. Nature's law seems to go even further, in opposition 
to the law of divine love : for nature seems to say " I care 
to preserve neither individual nor race, neither body nor 
soul ; but I bring into existence only to destroy." 

LVII. Such speculations in earthly song regarding things 
not of earth, are fruitless on this side of the grave. [And 
here Tennyson bids farewell to Hallam and leaves his 

LVIII. The muse my consciousness of poetic powers 
within me tells me that life is still worth living, though 
half my life my friend is taken away : for I may yet 
take a nobler farewell of him in a great poem that will show 
that love cannot die. [This is the first indication of a 
resolution to link up these hitherto scattered poems into 
sections of one connected poem, which, beginning with 
doubt and despair, will end in clear conviction of the 
immortality of the soul and of friendship will end in faith 
and hope. Hitherto he has spoken of these sections as 
" random songs ".] 

LIX. Such a poem is possible only if sorrow takes up her 
lasting abode in my heart. 

LX, LXI. His was a nobler and more gifted nature than 
mine : and, in the enjoyment of the company of the departed 
wise and good now in heaven, he will still find that, though 
inferior to them and to him, in these qualities, I am yet 
their equal in my love for him. 

LXII, LXIIL If he, now lifted to a higher sphere, should 
feel that his love for me, in this lower sphere on earth, is 
a hindrance to his higher aspirations, then let the love 
between us die. Yet the love of a superior for an inferior 
should offer no such hindrance : thus, my love for my dog 
is not a hindrance to my higher aspirations : why, then, 
should his love for me be one to his ? 

LXIV. [Another analogy to point out the difference 
between Hallam's high estate now and Tennyson's low 
estate.] Does he remember me, as I remember him ? 

LXV. He does : for love is too precious to be lost, even 
in Heaven : and may my love help him in his high sphere, 
as his helps me in mine on earth. 

LXVI. If I .am now seemingly cheerful and happy, it is 
like the resigned cheerfulness of a blind man of one who 
has suffered a loss that grief cannot repair. 


LXVII. The same moonlight shines into my bedroom 
and into the church where he lies buried ; and the same 
dawn casts its gray over us both the living and the dead. 

LXVIII. I dream of my dead friend as alive ; and [in the 
confusion incident to dreams] I see, on his face, the troubles 
of my own mind. 

LXIX. [His dream passes on to something that is alle- 
gorical of his own state : and his friend half recognized, 
half a stranger again mingles in it.] With a touch he 
changes my crown of dead thorns into one of living foliage, 
and, in low and happy tones, speaks to me something I 
cannot understand. 

LXX. [In the midst of the weird visions of his dream, he 
suddenly recognizes his friend's face.] 

LXXI. [At last his dream settles down to something clear 
and defined they seem to be travelling together in France : 
and he asks sleep, as he has brought down his friend from 
Heaven, so to complete his happiness, by removing the 
haunting sense of loss that does not leave him asleep or 

LXXII. [An interval between this and the preceding 
section. It ushers in the second anniversary of Hallam's 
death.] It is a rainy and cheerless morning, but if it had 
been a bright and cheerful day, it would have been equally 
indifferent to me. 

LXXIIL So much to be done in the worlds of thought 
and action, and so little yet done : so vast the field, and so 
few the labourers ! Who knows what my friend may not 
have achieved had he lived ? but he was cut off, and his 
name is lost to fame. But what is fame ? it, too, perishes : 
and that energy of his mind, that might have achieved this 
perishing fame, is now devoted to the nobler work of the 
self -development of the soul. 

LXXIV. Something of this ever-developing soul of his 
kinship to the great and wise of the past I think I saw in 
the dead face of my friend ; but more I will not say, since 
death has cut off his promise. 

LXXV. The greatness of my grief is the sole measure of 
the greatness of my friend's mind, nor do I care to set forth 
in poetry his praises to this world, that cares only for actual 
performances, not for possible powers, prematurely cut off. 
But, in another world, these powers now have full scope for 
activity, and a full measure of fame. 

LXX VI. Before the infinity of space and time, the fame 


of a poet shrinks into nothing, and the life of a poem is 
shorter than even the life of a tree ! 

LXXVIL And this poem itself will soon be forgotten, 
like all other poetry : but still I will write it, for to me to 
breathe my loss, and utter my love, are more than fame. 

LXXVIII. [After another interval, the thread is resumed 
at the Christmas of ; 35.] The usual Christmas festivities 
again take place, but that does not mean that grief is dead : 
grief lives, though tears have dried up. 

LXXIX. In this calmer mood, I remember, for the first 
time, that others have a claim on that love, that hitherto I 
have bestowed, undivided, on him : my brother, for instance : 
but the difference is, that while I and myjbrother are alike 
in nature and in our experiences, I and he were unlike ; and 
he supplied what I was wanting in. 

LXXX. How he would have mourned for me, if / had 
died : his grief would have been as deep as mine is, but 
his faith in God, and his peace with mankind, would have 
been deeper than mine. Herein lies his superiority to me, 
and herein I resolve to imitate him : my grief henceforth 
will cease to be a restless grief, and will pass into calm 

LXXXI. In this frame of mind, I draw consolation even 
f ronTthe'sudden death of my friend : in this, that it suddenly 
ripened my love, which, else, had taken years to ripen. 

LXXXII. I blame not death for bringing corruption on 
the body, nor for snatching away virtues before they 
flowered on earth ; but for separating me from him. 

LXXXIII. [Another interval till the spring of '36.] My 
calmer grief now seeks for sympathy : sympathy from the 
cheerful, rather than the gloomy, aspects of nature from 
spring, rather than winter : seeks to break forth in song, 
rather than brood in silence. 

LXXXI V. A vision of that fame and happiness he might 
have enjoyed on earth, had he lived longer. Perchance we 
two might have died at the same time, and been received 
into Heaven as one soul united in death, and after death, 
united in life again. The vision vanishes, and my new-born 
calm of mind again feels a touch of the old keen anguish. 

LXXXV. It is a greater affliction never to have had a 
friencfthan to have had and lost one. To my true and tried 
living friend's gentle reproach whether in my grief for the 
dead I am not neglecting the living, I answer that since my 
dead friend was taken away and I was left behind alone, I 


have felt his spirit influencing my life, and giving me strength 
in the midst of my solitary grief. Therefore has grief not 
succeeded in crushing all natural impulses and human hopes 
in me : and these make me now long for his friendship the 
friendship of one living, though I feel the friendship with 
the dead to be eternal indestructible by a new friendship. 
The voice of my friend beyond the grave seems to exhort 
me to take a living friend to myself, who can speak to me in 
human speech, which he, the dead, cannot do. Therefore, 
in full faith that I shall again be united to him, the object 
of my first friendship, and in obedience to his wish, thus 
conveyed to me from beyond the grave, I desire to take 
another friend here on earth, who shall have such remains 
of my widowed love as I can bestow. 

LXXXVI. [We are to suppose the offer of this new 
friendship to be made and accepted.] My mind now passes 
from doubt and thoughts of death, towards peace and 
hopes of renewed life ; and I find in nature's aspect, this 
spring season, a sympathy with this my new frame of 

LXXXVII. I visit Cambridge, his University and mine ; 
and there, recollections of him as the best speaker in our 
debating club, come to my mind. 

LXXXVIII. And mingled feelings of joy and grief fill 
my breast ; and I ask the nightingale, whose song knows 
both, to teach me how to give them expression. 

LXXXIX. [He describes the country place the residence 
of the Tennysons, where Hallarn used to find relaxation from 
the dust and din of the town : and how they passed the time 
there during these visits.] 

XC. That cynicism is a false calumny on true love or 
friendship, that says the dead, if they came back to life, 
would meet with a cold welcome from those that externally 
mourned at their death from wife and children ! false 
for I know / long for my friend's return to life, and not a 
single thought in me opposes the longing. 

XCI. I long to see him again and to see him, in his old 
earthly shape : not in a dream in the darkness of night as a 
ghost, but in the waking hours of daylight in summer, in 
his earthly shape, but suffused with the light of the next 

XCII. But were he to appear to me in any shape visible 
to the eyes of the body, and were even to give proofs of his 
reality and identity by recalling the past or prophesying 


the future, I would think it to be only the product of my 
own fancy. 

XCIIL Therefore must I conclude that he can never re- 
visit me in the body, as I had fondly hoped, but his spirit 
only may hold communion with mine. O ! then let thy 
spirit descend upon me ! 

XCIV. What must the spirit of that living man be, in 
purity of heart and peace of mind, with whom a spirit of 
Heaven would deign so to hold communion. 

XCV. [On a summer night in '36, when left alone on the>. 
lawn by the rest of the family, the poet's spirit does hold/ 
this communion with the spirit of his friend. He reads hi/ 
old letters, and, in spirit, is rapt up to where his friend's 
spirit now dwells ; and when he wakes from this vision, it 
is dawn !] 

XCVI. You think that doubt is ever joined to an evil 
life, and never can lead to faith : but I know that in him 
was joined doubt to a pure life, and that a struggle with 
doubt and victory over it led to a faith stronger than 
the faith of creeds the faith that shuts fast its eyes to 

XCVII. My love sees itself reflected everywhere : thus 
when I look upon a husband and wife the one strong in 
knowledge, the other strong in faith, the mind of the one 
ranging far, that of the other confined to household duties ; 
separated intellectually but ever united in love in such a 
picture I see the reflection of the relation between my friend 
in the next world and me still here on earth. 

XCVIII. [To one who knew Hallam, and is about to 
travel on the Continent, he says he will never see Vienna 
to him the hateful city ; and describes what he has heard of 
the pleasure-loving life of the Viennese.] 

XCIX. [Third anniversary of Hallam's death (September 
'36).] Nature again wears, to my eyes, a more cheerful 
aspect : more cheerful than she did the same time last year : 
and I feel I have the silent sympathy of all on earth who 
lost a dear one on this day. 

C. I survey, once more, here at my old home, the landscape 
on which his eyes and mine used to dwell in happier days ; 
and, so surveying it, can fancy that he lives again ; and, 
turning away from it, feel that he dies again. 

CI, GIL I bid farewell to this home of my childhood, now 
passing into other hands ; and, on the eve of departure, two 
loves contend for precedence in my breast love for the 


place of my birth and boyhood, and love for the place of my 
youth and friendship. 

GUI. ['37, before Christmas. The night before the 
Tennysons leave their old home, he dreams a dream, which 
interpreted, means the journey of life in this world, in the 
company of the muses, ending in reunion with his friend 
in the next world, and the resumption of their poetic 
pursuits there.] 

CIV. [After another interval ; the Christmas of '37, but 
no longer in the old home, which they have left for a new 

CV. In this my new home, I no longer care to keep up 
the time-honoured festivities of the old home of my child- 
hood. I only ask that, on this day, I may have immunity 
from the cares that daily haunt life, so that I may dedicate 
it all to memories of the past. 

CVI. [New Year of '38.] The going out of the Old, and 
the coming in of the New Year, kindles in me the fervent 
wish that the old era of all that is false in human nature 
and human institutions, may pass away, and a new era of 
what is true in these, may begin. What this " false " and 
this " true " comprehend 

CVII. [February 1st, } 38.] I commemorate with joyous 
heart the anniversary of his birthday. [This is one of 
those indications, that run through the poem, of the changes 
from violent to subdued grief, and thence to equanimity, 
that the course of years works upon the poet's mind, leaving 
it, at the close of the poem, in a state of recovered hap- 

CVIII. I feel at length that grief has humanized my soul. 
I no longer see any fruit from speculations upon the life 
spirits lead in the next world, such as I once indulged in ; 
but I see much fruit in learning wisdom from sorrow for 
his death, if I have not gathered much fruit from his 
wisdom when he was alive. 

CIX. What that wisdom in him was, from which I might 
have gathered richer fruit than I have. [That is ; Hallam's 
gifts and character : under which is drawn a picture of his 
private life and conversation, his gifts of intellect, his moral 
character, his political principles, and the winning grace of 
his personality.] 

CX, CXI. The influence he exercised over those with 
whom he came in contact : he was a born leader of men : he 
was the true gentleman : what that is, and how different 


from that false " gentleman," too often met with in society 
and the life of fashion. 

CXII. My reasons for thinking more of the unaccomplished 
greatness of my friend than of the narrower perfection of 
others, are that my love for him makes me think so, and 
that though he accomplished little, while these have accom- 
plished much, what he could have done is far beyond what 
these have actually done. What it is that he could have 

CXIII, CXIY. What his genius might have done in 
statesmanship. What it consisted in : not in knowledge, 
but in wisdom. What is knowledge ? It is insatiable ; it 
cannot look beyond the present ; it seeks to subserve passion, 
such as love of power. What is wisdom ? It is the guide 
and check of knowledge ; it has faith in what knowledge 
cannot know, namely, the future and the next life ; and it 
cherishes love, which is all unlike passion that enslaves 

CXV. [Spring of '38 : spring returns both to the land, 
and to the poet's breast.] 

CXVI. In this happy spring season, the balance in my 
mind between grief for the old friendship and hope in the 
new that is to come, at last inclines towards the latter : and 
I now grieve less than I hope. 

CXVII. This new friendship will be the rebirth of love 
in the next life, a love that only gathers strength from 
delay, while life lasts here on earth. 

CXVIII. Those whom we call the dead live still for ever 
nobler ends ; and human truth and love are created, not to 
perish, but to rise ever higher. The scale of ascension in 
the physical world and in the nature of man, that is to raise 
the latter through trial, from man to a state higher than 
man's ; as it has already raised him from beast to man. 

CXIX. [He visits again the street where his friend once 
lived : and, now, in a happier spirit.] 

CXX. The memories of spiritual friendship tell me that 
man though once perhaps a beast, is not a mere material 
development from a beast, but was born with the spiritual 
instinct, latent in him throughout the long ages of his 

CXXI. The morning star follows upon the evening star, 
and both are the same : even so my present happiness 
follows upon my past grief, and the source of both is the 
same, namely my love. 


CXXII. If his spirit was by me, when I rebelled against 
the tyranny of grief, let it be by me now, when I triumph 
over that tyranny. 

CXXIII. The face of material nature changes in the 
course of geologic ages, but friendship remains unchanged 
in the eternal spirit of man. 

CXXIV. What is that eternal of eternals that all of 
alls God? I know not. Neither natural theology, with' 
its argument from design, nor dogmatic theology, with its 
tine-spun systems, can enable me to know God. But, within 
my untutored breast, I feel that God exists, and that He is 
my father the father of my eternal soul and spirit. 

CXXV. Even when my lips uttered bitter words of 
despair, hope still was not lost within my heart : and 
whether my words were of despair or of hope, love still 
inspired them. 

CXXVI. Love ever has been the ruler of my heart : 
through love's messengers I receive tidings of my friend, 
under love's guard I live secure in faith in this world, and 
from love's sentinel I receive the assurance of my hope " all 
is well." 

CXXVII. All is well : and this revolution in my own 
mind from despair to hope, has its parallel in revolutions in 
states, where order rises out of disorder, and injustice and 
violence are triumphant only for a time ; but at the end 
all is well. 

OXXVIII. For he, whose spiritual faith has enabled him 
to evolve hope out of grief, has also that lesser faith, that 
believes that the grief of states, breaking forth in disorder 
and tumult, has been ordained by the Supreme Ruler, as a 
means to the ends of peace and order : without such an end, 
history would be merely a repetition of itself ; and there 
would be no progress from the lower towards the higher. 

CXXIX. The two natures of my friend : the lower, 
human, the happiness from which I have known and lost ; 
and the higher, divine, the happiness from which I shall 
know and never lose ; and with which will be mingled the 
happiness of all the world. 

CXXX. For I feel he is now a power diffused through all 
the world : but as he is thus grown vaster, my love for him 
has grown vaster too ; and though he is thus diffused 
through God and Nature, he has not lost his individuality 
for me, and I shall love him all the more, and I shall not 
lose him though I die. 

ANALYSIS. xxiii 

CXXXI. This conclusion have I reached through the 
living force of free will. May free will purify my life and 
deeds, and so fit me to hold communion with the dear dead, 
and through faith that results from victory aver doubt, to 
hold those truths that never can be proved, until soul meets 
soul in the next life. 

CONCLUSION : referring to events in 1842, on the occasion 
of the marriage of one of the poet's sisters. 

* - 





STRONG Son of God, immortal Love. 

Whom we, that have not seen thy face, 
f - By faith, and faith alone r embr 
I Believing where we cannot prove ; j 
AJ ii 

/', Thine are these orbs of light and shade ;- 

Thou madest Life._Jn man and brute ; 
Thou madest DpafJa ; and lo, thy foot 
Is on the skull which thou hast made. 

Thou wilt not leave us in the dust : 

Thou madest man, he knows not why, 
He thinks he was not made to die ; 
And thou hast made him : thou art just. 

Thou seemest human and divine, 

The highest, holiest manhood, thou : 
Our wills are ours, we know not how ; 
Our wills are ours, to make them thine. 

Our little systems have their day ; 

They have their day and cease to be : 
They are but broken lights of thee, 
-And thou, O Lord, art more than they. 


1-nif, fa/iffr ; we cannot know ; 

TVr< I mnw1pf'nr i>p " 

And yet we trust it comes from thee 
A beam in darkness : let it grow. 

Let knowledge grow from more to more. 

But more of reverence in us dwell ; 

That mind and soul, according well, 
May make one music as before, 

But vaster. We are fools and slight ; 

We mock thee when we do not fear : 

But help thy foolish ones to bear ; 
Help thy vain worlds to bear thy light. 

Forgive what seem'd my sin in me ; 

What seem'd my worth since I began ; 

For merit lives from man to man, 
And not From man, O Lord, to thee. 

Forgive my grief for one removed, 

Thy creature, whom I found so fair. 

I trust he livesjii thee, and there 
I find him worthier to be loved., 


Forgive thes_e__wild and wandering cries, 
Confusions of a wasted youth ; 
Forgive them where they fail in truth, 
And in thy wisdom make me wise. 



ONxjU/v zo 

lye^jLXAAA^O. -^vjuxyvs . -*^^ * j 'VYAvO** , * 

c^Cv? i vAxvsA/a c*jui-^k-*>v 

I HELD it truth, with him who sings 
To one clear harp in divers tones, 
That men may rise on stepping-stones "fe* 
Of their dead selves to higher things. /fcc/ 


But who shall so forecast the years 
And find in loss a gain to match ^ 
On reach a^Tian^Thro' time to catch 

Let Love clasp Grief lest both be drown'd, 

Let darkness keep her raven gloss ; 

Ah, sweeter to be drunk with loss, 
To dance with death, to beat the ground, 

iv .i>vVv 

Than that the victor Hours should scorn 

The long result of love, and boast, 

' Behold the man that love.d and lost, 
But all he was is overworn.' 

- s^L^v^c^vOv*^/-) 6~r^ XvxW>C 

fr-f II - vAflJlc-wfcLt^a wjK^i 


OLD Yew, which graspest at the stones 
^Tfaat name the under-lying dead, 

<- Thy fibres net the dreamless head, 

Thy roots are wrapt about the bones. 

The seasons bring the flower again, 

And bring the firstling to the flock ; 
And in the dusk of thee, the clock 

Beats out the little lives of men, 



O not for thee the glow, the bloom, 
Who changest not in any gale, 
Nor branding summer suns avail 

To touch thy thousand years of gloom : 

And gazing on thee, sullen tree, 

Sick for thy stubborn hardihood, 
I seem to fail from out my blood 
And grow incorporate into thee. 



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, stands 

With all tKe'TnTisic in her tone, 
A hollow echo of my own, 
A hollow form with empty hands.' 

iv So^>^^ 
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? 


To Sleep I give iny powers away ; 

My will is bondsman to the dark ; 

I sit within a helmless bark, 
And with my heart I muse and say : 

O heart, how fares it with thee now, 

That thou should'st fail from thy desire, 

Who scarcely darest to inquire, 
'What is it makes me beat so low?' 

Something it is which thou hast lost, 

Some pleasure from thine early years. 

Break, thou deep vase of chilling tears, 
That grief hath shaken into frost ! 

Such clouds of nameless trouble cross 

All night below the darken'd eyes ; 

With morning wakes the will, and cries, 
'Thou shalt not be the fool of loss.' 


I SOMETIMES hold it half a sin 

To pujuin^words the grief I feel ; 

For words, like Nature, half reveal 
And half conceal the Soul within. 

But, for the unquiet heart and brain, 

A use in measured language lies ; 

The sad mechanic exercise, 
Like dull narcotics, numbing pain. 



In words, like weeds, I'll wrap me o'er, 
Like coarsest clothes against the cold : 
But that large grief which these enfold 

Is given in outline and no more. 



ONE writes, that 'Other friends remain,' 
That 'Loss is common to the race' 
And common is the commonplace, 

And vacant chaff well meant for grain. 


That loss is common would not make 
My own less bitter, rather more : 
Too common ! Never morning wore 

To evening, but some heart did break. 

O father 1 , wheresoe'er thou be, 

Who pledgest now thy gallant son ; 

A shot, ere half thy draught be done, 
Hath still'd the life that beat from thee. 


O mother, praying God will save 

Thy sailor, while thy head is bow'd, 
His heavy-shotted hammock-shroud 

Drops in his vast and wandering grave. 

Ye know no more than I who wrought 

At that last hour to please him well ; 

Who mused on all I had to tell, 
And something written, something thought ; 



Expecting still his advent home ; 
And ever met him on his way 
With wishes, thinking, 'here to-day/ 

Or 'here to-morrow will he come.' 

O somewhere, meek, unconscious dove, 

That sittest ranging golden hair ; 

And glad to find thyself so fair, 
Poor child, that waitest for thy love ! 

For now her father's chimney glows 

In expectation of a guest ; 

And thinking 'this will please him best/ 
She takes a riband or a rose ; 

For he will see them on to-night ; 

And with the thought her colour burns; 

And, having left the glass, she turns 
Once more to set a ringlet right ; 


And, even when she turn'd, the curse 
Had fallen, and her future Lord 
Was drown'd in passing thro' the ford, 

Or kill'd in falling from his horse. 

O what to her shall be the end? 

And what to me remains of good? 

To h^^pej^ejbual nj^denhpod, 
A ndunto_ ,me_ no 




DARK house, by which once more I stand 
Here in the long unlovely street, 
Doors, where my heart was used to beat 
So quickly, waiting for a hand, 


r that can be olaap'd nn mnrp. 
Behold me, for I cannot sleeg, 
And like a guilty thing I creep 
At earliest morning to the door. 

He is not here ; but far away 

The noise of life begins again, 
And ghastly thro' the drizzling rain 
On the bald street breaks the blank day. 



A HAPPY lover who has come 

To look on her that loves him well, 
Who 'lights and rings the gateway bell, 

And learns her gone and far from home ; 

He saddens, all the magic light 

Dies off at once from bower and hall, 
And all the place is dark, and all 

The chambers emptied of delight : 

So find I every pleasant spot 

In which we two were wont to meet, 
The field, the chamber and the street, 

For all is dark where thou art not. 


Yet as that other, wandering there 
In those deserted walks, may find 
A flower beat with rain and wind, 

Which once she foster'd up with care ; 


So seems it in my deep regret, 

my forsaken heart, with thee 
And this poor flower of poesy 

Which little cared for fades not yet. 

But since it pleased a vanish'd eye, 

1 go to plant it on his tomb, 
That if it can it there may bloom, 

Or dying, there at least may die. 


^ATR shjp : that froiu the Italian shore 
Sailest the placid ocean-plains 
With my lost Arthur's loved remains, 

Spread thy full wings, and waft him o'er. 


So draw him home to those that mourn 
In vain ; a favourable speed 
Euffle thy mirror'd mast, and lead 

Thro' prosperous floods his holy urn. 


All night no ruder air perplex 

Thy sliding keel, till Phosphor, bright 
As our pure love, thro' early light 

Shall glimmer on the dewy decks. 


Sphere all your lights around, above ; 

Sleep, gentle heavens, before the prow ; 

Sleep, gentle winds, as he sleeps now, 
My friend, the brother of my love ; 

My Arthur, whom I shall not see 

Till all iny widow'd race be run ; 

Dear as the mother to the son, 
More than mv brothers are to me. 

I HEAR the noise about thy keel ; 

I hear the bell struck in the night : 
I see the cabin- window bright ; 

I see the sailor at the wheel. 


Thou bring'st the sailor to his wife, 

And travell'd men from foreign lands 
And letters unto trembling hands ; 

And, thy dark freight, a vanish'd life. 


So bring him : we have idle dreams : 
This look of quiet natters thus 
Our home-bred fancies : O to us, 

The fools of habit, sweeter seems 


To rest beneath the clover sod, 

That takes the sunshine and the rains, 
Or where the kneeling hamlet drains 

The chalice of the grapes of God ; 


Than if with thee the roaring wells 

Should gulf hirn fathom-deep in brine 
And hands so often clasp'd in mine, 

Should toss with tangle and with shells. 



CALM is the morn without a sound, 
Calm as to suit a calmji_gi4ef, 
And only thro' the faded leaf 

The rJTPgf-.nnf. paf.f.Pn'ngr t.n fliA grcninrl 

Calm and deep peace on this high wold, 

And on these dews that drench the furze, 

And all the silvery gossamers 
That twinkle into green and gold : 


Calm and still light on yon great plain 

That sweeps with all its autumn bowers, 
And crowded farms and lessening towers, 

To mingle with the bounding main : 

Calm and deep peace in this wide air, 

These leaves that redden to the fall ; 

And in my heart, if calm at all, 
If any calm, a calm despair : 

Calm on the seas, and silver sleep, 

And waves that sway themselves in rest, 
And dead calm in that noble breast 

Which heaves but with the heaving deep. 




Lo, as a dove when up she springs 

To bear thro' Heaven a tale of woe, 
Some dolorous message knit below 

The wild pulsation of her wings ; 

Like her I go ; I cannot stay ; 

I leave this mortal ark behind, 

A weight of nerves without a mind, 

And leave the cliffs, and haste away 

O'er ocean- mirrors rounded large, 

And reach the glow of southern skies, 
And see the sails at distance rise, 

And linger weeping on the marge, 

And saying ; ' Comes he thus, my friend ? 
Is this the end of all my care ? ' 
And circle moaning in the air : 

'Is this the end? Is this the end? 

And forward dart again, and play 
About the prow, and back return 
To where the body sits, and learn 

That I have been an hour away. 



TEARS of the widower, when he sees 
A late-lost form that sleep reveals, 
And moves his doubtful arms, and feels 

Her place is empty, fall like these ; 


Which weep a loss for ever new, 

A void where heart on heart reposed ; 

And, where warm hands have prest and closed, 
Silence, till I be silent too. 

Which weep the comrade of my choice, 

An awful thought, a life removed, 

The human-hearted man I loved, 
A Spirit, not a breathing voice. 

Come Time, and teach me, many years, 

I do not suffer in a dream ; 

For now so strange do these things seem, 
Mine eyes have leisure for their tears ; 


My fancies time to rise on wing, 

And glance about the approaching sails, 

As tho' they brought but merchants' bales,- ' 2*9 s? 

And not the burthen that they bring. 



IF one should bring me this report, 

That thou hadst touch'd the land to-day, 
And I went down unto the quay, 

And found thee lying in the port ; 

And standing, muffled round with woe, 
Should see thy passengers in rank 
Come stepping lightly down the plank, 

And beckoning unto those they know ; 


And if along with these should come 

The man I held as half-divine ; 

Should strike a sudden hand in mine, 
And ask a thousand things of home ; 


And I should tell him all my pain, 

And how my life had droop'd of late, 
And he should sorrow o'er my state 

And marvel what possess'd my brain ; 


And I perceived no touch of change, 
No hint of death in all his frame, 
But found him all in all the same, 

I should not feel it to be strange. 


TO-NIGHT the winds begin to rise 

And roar from yonder dropping day : 
The ls,st red leaf is whirl'd away, 
The rooks are blown about the skies ; 

The forest crack'd, the waters curl'd, 

The cattle huddled on the lea 1 ; 

And wildly dash'd on tower and tree 
The sunbeam strikes along the world.: 

And but for fancies, which aver 

That all thy motions gently pass 
Athwart a plane of molten glass, 
I scarce could brook the strain and stir 



That makes the barren branches loud ; 
And but for fear it is not so, 
The wild unrest that lives in woe* 

Would dote and pore on yonder cloud 


That rises upward always higher, 

And onward drags a labouring breast, 
And topples round the dreary west, 

A looming bastion fringed with fire. 


WHAT words are these have fall'n from me ? 

Can calm despair and wild unrest 

Be tenants of a single breast, 
Or sorrow such a changeling be ? 

Or doth she only seem to take 

The touch of change in calm or storm ;. 

But knows no more of transient form 
In her deep self, than some dead lake 

That holds the shadow of a lark 

Hung in the shadow of a heaven ? 

Or has the shock, so harshly given, 
Confused me like the unhappy bark 

That strikes by night a craggy shelf, 

And staggers blindly ere she sink? 

And stunn'd me from my power to think 
And all my knowledge of myself ; 


And made me that delirious man 
Whose fancy fuses old and new, 
And flashes into false and true, 

And mingles all without a plan ? 



THOU comest, much wept for : such a breeze 
Compel I'd thy canvas, and my prayer 
Was as the whisper of an air 

To breathe thee over lonely seas. 

For I in spirit saw thee move 

, Thro' circles of the bounding sky, 

Week after week : the days go by : 
Come quick, thou bringest all I love. 


Henceforth, wherever thou may'st roam, 
My blessing, like a line of light, 
Is on the waters day and night, 

And like a beacon guards thee home. 

So may whatever tempest mars 

Mid-ocean, spare thee, sacred bark ; 

Ami balmy drops in summer dark 
Slide from the bosom of the stars. 

So kind an office hath been done, 

Such precious relics brought by thee ; 
The dust of him I shall not see 

Till all my widow'd race be run. 




Tis well ; 'tis something ; we may stand 
Where he in English earth is laid, 
And from his ashes may be made^ 

The violet of his native land. 

'Tis little ; but it looks in truth 

As if the quiet bones were blest 
Among familiar names to rest 

And in the places of his youth, 

Come then, purej^n^s, and bear the head 
That sleeps or wears the mask of sleep, 
And come, whatever loves to weep, 

And hear the ritual of the dead, 

Ah yet, ev'n yet, if this might be, 
I, falling on his faithful heart, 
Would breathing thro' his lips impart 

The life that almost dies in me ; 

, } 

That dies not, but endures with pain, 

And slowly forms the firmer mind, ] fi 
Treasuring the look it cannot find, 
The words that are not heard again. 


THE Danube to the Severn gave 

The darken'd heart that beat no more ; 

They laid him by the pleasant shore, 
And in the hearing of the wave. 



There twice a day the Severn fills ; 
The salt sea-water passes by, 
And hushes half the babbling Wye, 

And makes a silence in the hills. 

The Wye is hush'd nor moved along, 
And hush'd my deepest grief of all, 
When fill'd with tears that cannot fal 

I brim with sorrow drowning song. 

The tide ilows down, the wave again 

Is vocal in its wooded walls ; 

My deeper anguish also falls, 
And I can speak a little then. 



THE lesser griefs that may be said, 

That breathe a thousand tender vows, 
Are but as servants in a house 

Where lies the master newly dead ; 

Who speak their feeling as it is, 

And weep the fulness from the mind 
'It will be hard,' they say, 'to find 
Another service such as this.' 

My lighter moods are like to these, 
That out of words a comfort win ; 
But there are other griefs within, 

And tears that at their fountain freeze ; 


For by the hearth the children sit 
Cold in that atmosphere of Death, 

And scarce endure to draw the breath, 

, ,/vtyi fev**^ 

Or like to noiseless phantoms flit : 

But open converse is there none, 
So much the vital spirits sink 
To see the vacant chair, and think, 

* How good ! T^ow land ! and ha is gone.' 


I SING to him that rests below, 

And, since the grasses round me wave, 
I take the grasses of the grave, 

And make them pipes whereon to blow. 


The traveller hears me now and then, 

And sometimes harshly will he speak : 
' This fellow would make weakness weak, 

And melt the waxen hearts of men.' 

Another answers, 'Let him be, 

He loves to make parade of pain 
That with his piping he may gain 

The praise that comes to constancy.' 


A third is wroth : ' Is this an hour 
For private sorrow's barren song, 
When more and more the people throng 

The chairs and thrones of civil power ? 


' A time to sicken and fiO fiW nrm 

When Science reaches forth her arms 

To feel from world to world, a ; d charms^ 

Her secret from the latest moonj" 

Behold, ye speak an idle thing : 

Ye never knew the sacred dust : 

I do but sing because I must, 
And pipe but as the linnets sing : 

And one is glad ; her note is gay, 

For now her little ones have ranged ; 

And one is sad ; her note is changed, 
Because her brood is stol'n away. 



THE path by which we twain did go, 

Which led by tracts that pleased us well, 
Thro' four sweet years arose and fell, 

From flower to flower, from snow to snow : 

And we with singing cheer'd the way, 

And, crown'd with all the season lent, 
*/ From April on to April went, 
And glad at heart from May to May : 


But where the path we walk'd began 
To slant the fifth autumnal slope, 
As we descended following Hope, 

There sat the Shadow fear'd of man ; 


Who broke our fair companionship, 

And spread his mantle dark and cold, 
And wrapt thee formless in the fold, 

And dull'd the murmur on thy lip, 


And bore thee where I could not see 
Nor follow, tho' I walk in haste, 
And think, that somewhere in the waste 

The Shadow sits and waits for me. 



Now, sometimes in my sorrow shut, 
Or breaking into song by fits, 
Alone, alone, to where he sits, 

The Shadow cloak'd from head to foot, 


Who keeps the keys of all the creeds, 
I wander, often falling lame, 
And looking back to whence I came, 

Or on to where the pathway leads ; 


And crying, How changed from where it ran 
Thro' lands where not a leaf was dumb ; 

But all the I^JJeV. >>i11 wnnlfl Vmffl 

The murmur of a happy Pan : 

When each by turns was guide to each, ^N 

And Fancy light from Fancy caught, 
And Thought leapt out to wed with Thought 

Ere Thought could wed itself with Speech ; 


And all we met was fair and good, 
And all was good that Tin^ nniiM 
And all the se^-fifr ^f ^ Spring, 

Moved ID the cha^b^ra of thp. blond ; 

And many an old philosophy 

On Argjvp. hmghta Divinely sang. 

And round_us all the,, thicket rang, 
To manv_a flute of Arcadv. 



AND was the day of my delight 
, As pure and perfect as I say ? 

The very source and fount of Day 
Is dash'd with wandering isles of night. 

If all was good and fair we met, 

This earth had been the Paradise 
It never look'd to human eyes 
Since our first Sun arose and set. 

And is it that the haze of grief 

Makes former gladness loom so great 'i 
The lowness of the present state. 
That sets the past in this relief ? 

Or that the past will always win 

A glory from its being far ; 

And orb into the perfect star 
We saw not, when we moved therein 1 



I KNOW that this was Life, the track 

Whereon with equal feet we fared ; 

And then, as now, the day prepared 
The daily burden for the back. 

But this it was that made me move 

As light as carrier-birds in air ; 

I loved the weight I had to bear, 
Because it needed help of Love : 

Nor could I weary, heart or limb, 

When mighty Love would cleave in twain 

The lading of a single pain, 
And part it, giving half to him. 



STILL onward winds the dreary way ; 
1 with it ; for I long to prove 
No lapse of moons can canker Love 

Whatever fickle tongues may say. 

And if that eye which watches guilt 

And goodness, and hath power to see 
Within the green the moulder'd tree, 

And towers fall'n as soon as built 

Oh, if indeed that eye foresee 

Or see (in Him is no before) . 
In more of life true life no more 

And Love the indifference to be, 



Then might I find, ere yet the morn 
Breaks hither over Indian seas, 
That Shadow waiting with the keys, 

To shroud me from my proper scorn. 



I ENVY not in any moods 

The captive void of noble rage, 
The linnet born within the cage, 

That never knew the summer woods ; 

. ii 

I envy not the beast that takes 

His license in the field of time, 
Unfetter'd by the sense of crime, 

To whom a conscience* never wakes ; 

Nor, what may count itself as blest, 
The heart that never plighted troth 
But stagnates in the weeds of sloth ; 

Nor any want-begotten rest. 

I hold it true, whate'er befall ; 

I feel it, when I sorrow most ; 
Tis better to have lov^H and lost. 

Than never to have loved at all. 


THE time draws near the birth of Christ 

The moon is hid ; the night is still ; 

The Christmas bells from hill to hill 
Answer each other in the mist. 


Four voices of four hamlets round, 

From far and near, on mead and moor, 

Swell out and fail, as if a door- 
Were shut between me and the sound : 


Each voice four changes on the wind, 
That now dilate, and now decrease, 
Peace and goodwill, goodwill and peace, 

Peace and goodwill, to all mankind. 


This year I slept and woke with pain, 
I almost wish'd no more to wake T 
And that my hold on life would break 

Before I heard those bells again : 

But they my troubled spirit rule. 

For they controll'd me when a boy ; 

They bring mj^gotrow touch'd with^joy, 
The merry merry bells of Yule. 


WITH such compelling cause to grieve 
As daily vexes household peace, 
And chains regret to his decease, 

How dare we keep our Christmas-eve ; 


Which brings no more a welcome guest 
To enrich the threshold of the night 
With shower'd largess of delight 

In dance and song and game and jest ? 


Yet go, and while the holly boughs 
Entwine the cold baptismal font, 
Make one wreath more for Use and Wont, 

That guard the portals of the house ; 

Old sisters of a day gone by, 

Gray nurses, loving nothing new ; 

Why should they miss their yearly due 
Before their time ? They too will die. 



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 changej 

1 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, rjse, holy morn, 

Draw forth the cheerful day from ^ 

O jTather, touch the east, and light 

The light that shone when Hope was bcrn. __ 



WHEN Lazarus left his charnel-cave, 

And home to Mary's house return'd, 
Was this demanded if he yearn'd 

To hear her weeping by his grave ? 


'Where wert thon, brother, those four days?' 
There lives no record of reply, 
Which telling what it is to die 

Had surely added praise to praise. 


From every house the neighbours met, 

The streets were fill'd with joyful sound, 
A solemn gladness even crown d 

The purple brows of Olivet. 

Behold a man raised up by Christ ! 

The rest remaineth unreveal'd ; 

He told it not ; or something seal'd 
The lips of that Evangelist. 



HER eyes are homes of silent prayer, 
Nor other thought her mind admits 
But, he was dead, and there he sits, 

And he that brought him back is there. 


Then one deep love doth supersede 
All other, when her ardent gaze 
Eoves from the living brother's face, 

And rests upon the Life indeed. 


All subtle thought, all curious fears, 

Borne down by gladness so complete, 
She bows, she bathes the Saviour's feet 

With costly spikenard and with tears. 


Thrice blest whose lives are faithful prayers, 
Whosfi lovp;^ in higher love endure ( : 
What souls possess themselves so pure, 

Or is there blessedness like theirs ? 




O THOU that after toil and storm 

Mayst seem to have reach'd a purer air, 
Whose faith has centre everywhere, 

Nor cares to fix itself to form, 

Leave thou thy sister when she prays, 
Her early Heaven, her happy views ; 
Nor thou with shadow'd hint confuse 

A life that leads melodious days. 

Her faith thro' form is pure as thine, 
Her hands are quicker unto good : 
Oh, sacred be thp. flesh a,n^ blood 

To which she Mn^fi p 


See thou, that countest reason ripe 
In holding by the law within, 
Thou fail not in a world of sin, 

And ev'n for want of such a type. 



MY own dim life should teach me this, 
That life shall live for evermore^ 
Else earth is darkness at the core^. j 

And dust and_ashejj all that is ; 

This round of green, this orb of flame, 
Fantastic beauty ; such as lurks 
In some wild Poet, when he works 

Without a conscience or an aim. J 


What then were God to such as I ? 

'Twei'e hardly worth my while to choose 
Of things all mortal, or to use 
A little patience ere I die ; 


'Twere best at once to sink to peace, 

Like birds the charming serpent draws, 
To drop head-foremost in the jaws 

Of vacant darkness and to cease. 


#.4 YET if some voice that man could trust 
**CLK*--U> $&& Should murmur from the narrow house, 

""IJThe cheeks drop in : the body bows : 
Man dies : nor is there hope in dust : ' 

Might I not say ? ' Yet even here, 

But for one hour, O Love, I strive 
To keep so sweet a thing alive ; ' 
But I should turn mine ears and hear 

The meanings of the homeless sea, 

The sound of streams that swift or slow 
Draw down Ionian hills, and sow 
The dust of continents to be ; 


And Love would answer with a sigh, 

'The sound of that forgetful shore 
v Will change my sweetness more and more, 

-i Half -dead to know that I shall die.' 



O me, what profits it to put 

An idle case ? If Death were seen 
At first as Death, Love had not been, 

Or been in narrowest working shut, 

Mere fellowship of sluggish moods, 

Or in his coarsest Satyr-shape 

Had bruised the herb and crush'd the grape, 
And bask'd and batten'd in the woods. 



THO' truths in manhood darkly join, 
Deep-seated in our mystic frame, 

We yift1j_q.ll hlftaaing fn f.hp rifl*? 

Of JHini that made them current coin.; 


For Wisdom dealt with mortal powers, 

Where truth in closest words shall fail, 
When truth embodied in a tale 

Shall enter in at lowly doors. 


And so the Word had breath, and wrought 
Wltjfcjb. u man hands the creed of creeds 
In loveliness of perfect deeds, 

More strong than all poetic thought ; 

Which he may read that binds the sheaf, 
Or builds the house, or digs the grave, 
And those wild eyes that watch the 

In roarings round the coral reef. 




URANIA ^peaks with darken'd brow : 

'Thou pratest here where thou art least 
This faith has many a purer priest, 

And many an abler voice than thou. 

' Go down beside thy native rill, 

On thv "pa.Tna.asns sp.f, hhy fp.p.t, r 
Anf^hp,a,r f.hy 1a.m-p,1 wfrjsper sweet 
About the ledges of the hill. 3 


And my Melpomene,. replies, 

A touch of shame upon her cheek : 
' I am not worthy ev'n to speak 

Of thy prevailing mysteries ; 


' For I am but an earthly Muse, 
And owning but a little art 

To liljl with armg an aching hpqfii 

And render human love his dues ; 

'But brooding on the dear one dead, 
And all he said of things divine, 
(And dear to me as sacred wine 

To dying lips is all he said), 

' I nmrmur'd, as I came along, 

Of comfort clasp'd in truth reveal'd ; 

And loiter'd in the master's field, 
And darken'd sanctities with song} 





WITH weary steps I loiter on, 

Tho' always under alter'd skies 

The purple from the distance dies, s\ 

My prospect and horizon gone. J -^ - 


No joy the blowing season gives, 
The herald melodies of spring, 
But in the songs I love to sing 

A doubtful gleam of solace lives, 

If any care for what is here 

Survive in spirits render'd free, 
Then are these songs I sing of thee 

Not all ungrateful to thine ear. 


OLD warder of these buried bones, 

And answering now my random stroke 
With fruitful cloud and Mving smoke, 

Dark yew, that graspest at the stones 

And dippest toward the dreamless head, 
To tbee too comes the golden hour 
When flower is feeling after flower ; 

But Sorrow fixt upon the deadj 

And darkening the dark graves of men, 
What whisper'd from her lying lips ? 
Thy gloom is kindled at the tips, 

And passes into gloom again. 



COULD we forget the widow'd hour 

And look on Spirits breathed away, 
As on a maiden in the day 

When first she wears her orange-flower ! 

When crown'd with blessing she doth rise 
To take her latest leave of home, 
And hopes and light regrets that come 

Make April of her tender eyes ; 


And doubtful joys the father move, 

And tears are on the mother's face, 
As parting with a long embrace 

She enters other realms of love ; 


Her office there to rear, to teach, 
Becoming as is meet and fit 
A link among the days, to knit 
The generations each with each ; 

And, doubtless, unto thee is given 
A life that bears immortal fruit 
In those great offices that suit 

The full-grown energies of heaven. 

Ay me, the difference I discern ! 

How often shall her old fireside 
Be cheer'd with tidings of the bride, 
How often she herself return, 



And tell* them all they would have told, 

And bring her babe, and make her boast, 
Till even those that miss'd her most 

Shall count new things as dear as old : 

But thou and I have shaken hands, 

Till growing winters lay me low ; 

My paths are in the fields I know, 
And thine in undiscovered lands. 


THY spirit ere our fatal loss 

Did ever rise from high to higher ; 

As mounts the heavenward altar-fire. 
As^flies the lighter thro' the gross. 


But thou art turn'd to something strange, 
And I have lost the links that bound 
Thy changes ; hqr^upon the ground. 

No < jnore j)arjbak^ejL^Ohx^change. 


Deep folly ! yet that this could be 

That I could wing my will .with might 
To leap the grades of life and light, 

And flash at once, my friend,, to thfie. 

For tho' my ^nature rarely yields 

To that vague fear implied in death ; 

Nor shudders at the gulfs beneath, 
The howlings from forgotten fields : 


Yet oft when sundown skirts the moor 

An inner trouble I behold, 

A spectral doubt which makes, jne cold, 
That I shall be_th 

Tho' following with an upward mind 

The wonders that have come to thee, 

Thro' all the secular to-be, 
But evermore a life behind. 


v i 

I VEX my heart with fancies dim : 
He still outstript me in the race ; 
It was but unity of place 

That made me dream I rank'd with him. 

And so may Place retain us still, 
And he the much-beloved again, 
A lord of large experience, train 

To riper growth the mind and will : 

And what delights can equal those 
That stir the spirit's inner deeps, 
When one that loves but knows not, reaps 

A truth from one that loves and knows? 



,Ir Sleep and Death be truly one, 
And every spirit's folded bloom 
Thro' all its intervital gloom 

In some long trance should slumber on ; 


Unconscious of the sliding hour, 

Bare of the body, might it last, 
And silent traces of the past 
Be all the colour of the flower : 

So then were nothing lost to man ; 
So that still garden of the souls 
In many a figured leaf enrolls 

The total world since life began ; 

And Ipve will_last as pure and whole 

As^ when he lovprl me here in Time. 

And at the spiritual prime 
Rewaken with thft rh.wninor 


How fares it with the hgtppy dead ? 

For here the man is~more and more ; 

But he forgets the days before 
God shut the doorways of his head. 


The days have vanish'd, tone and tint, 
And yet perhaps the hoarding sense 
Gives out at times (he knows not whence) 

A little flash, a mystic hint ; 


And in the long harmonious years 

(If Death so taste Lethean springs), 
May some dim touch of earthly things 

Surprise thee ranging with thy peers. 


If such a dreamy touch should fall, 

O turn thee round, resolve the doubt ; 

My guardian angel will speak out 
In that high place, and tell thee all. 



THE baby new to earth and sky, 

What time his tender palm is prest 
Against the circle of the breast, 

Has never thought that 'this is I : ' 

But as he grows he gathers much, 

And learns the use of ' I,' and ' rne, 3 
And finds ' I am not what I see, 

And other than the things I touch.' 

So rounds he to a separate mind 

From whence clear memory may begin, 
As thro' the frame that binds him in 

His isolation grows defined, 

This use may lie in blood and breath, 

Which else were fruitless of their due, 
Had man to learn himself anew 

Beyond_the LJsefiQiiiL. bmth__Q Death. 


WE ranging down this lower track, 

The path we came by, thorn and flower, 
Is shadow'd by the growing hour, 

Lest life should fail in looking back. 



So be it : there no shade can last 

In that deep dawn behind the tomb, 

But clear from marge to marge shall bloom 

The eternal landscape of the past ; 

A lifelong tract of time reveal'd ; 

The fruitful hours of still increase ; 

Days order'd in a wealthy peace, 
And those five years its richest field. 

O Love, thy province were not large, 

A bounded field, nor stretching far ; 

Look also, Love, a brooding star, 
A rosy warmth from marge to marge. 



THAT each, who seems a separate whole, 
Should move his rounds, and fusing all 
The skirts of self again, should fall 

Renierging in the general Soul, 


Is faith as vague as all unsweet : 
Eternal form shall still divide 
The eternal soul from all beside ; 
And I shall jjjiow him when we meet : 


And we shall sit at endless feast, 
Enjoying each the other's good : 
What vaster dream can hit the mood 
Of Love on earth ? He seeks at least 




Upon the last and sharpest height, 
Before the spirits fade away, 
Some landing-place, to clasp and say, 
* Farewell ! We lose ourselves in light. 3 



IF these brief lays, of Borrow horn : 
Were taken to be such as closed 
Grave doubts and answers here proposed. 
Then these were such as men might scorn^ 

Her care is not to part and prove ; 

She takes, when harsher moods remit, 
What slender shade of doubt mav fli^. 
And makes it vassal unto love : 


And hence, indeed, she sports_wj|h .words, 
But better sjerves a wholesonie_la_^, 
And hol^s i^ sin and shame, to draw 
The deepest measure from the chords : 


Nor dare she trust a larger lay, 
But rather loosens from the lip 
Short swallow-flights of song, tliat dip 
Their wings in tears^ and skim away. 



FROM art, from nature, from the schools, 
Let random influences glance, 
Like light in many a shiver'd lance 
That breaks about the dappled pools : 



The lightest wave of thought shall lisp, 
The fancy's tenderest eddy wreathe, 
The slightest air of song shall breathe 

To make the sullen surface crisp. 

And look thy look, and go thy way, 

But blame not thou the winds that make 

The seeming-wanton ripple break, 
The tender-pencil'd shadow play. 


Beneath all fancied hopes and fears 
Ay me, the sorrow deepens down, 
Whose muffled motions blindly drown 

The bases of my life in tears. 

^BE jiear me when my light is low, 

When the blood creeps, and the nerves prick 
And tingle ; and the heart is sick, 
And all the wheels of Being slow. 

Bejiear me when the sensuous frame 

Is rack'd with pangs that conquer trust ; 

And Time, a maniac scattering dust, 
And Life, a Fury slinging flani. 

when my faith is dry, 
And men the flies of latter spring, 
That lay their eggs, and sting and sing 
And weave their petty cells and die. 



Be near ine when 1 fade away, 

To point the term of human strife. 
And on the low dark verge of life 

The twilight of eternal day. 


Do we indeed desire the dead 

Should still be near us at our side ? 

Is there no baseness we would hide ? 
No inner vileness that we dread ? 

Shall he for whose applause I strove, 

I had such reverence for his blame, 

See with clear eye some hidden shame 
And I be lessen'd in his love? 

I wrong the grave with fears untrue : 

Shall love be blamed for want of faith ? 

There must be wisdom with great Death 
The dead shall look me thro' and thro!. 

Be near us when we climb or fall : 

Ye watch, like God, the rolling hours 

With larger other eyes than ours, 
To make allowance for us all. 


I CANNOT love thee as__I ought, 

EorJbye reflects the thing beloved; 

My words are only words, and moved yr 
Upon the topmost froth of thought. tf- 


'Yet blame not thou thy plaintive song,' 

The Spirit of true love replied ; 

'Thou canst not move me from thy side, 
Nor human frailty do me wrong. 

'What keeps a spirit wholly true 

To that ideal which he bears ? 

What record? not the sinless years 
That breathed beneath the Syrian blue : 

' So fret not, like an idle girl, 

That life is dash'd with flecks of sin. 

Abide : thy wealth is gather'd in, 
When Time hath sunder'd shell from pearl.' 


How many a father have I seen, 
A sober man, among his boys, 
Whose youth was full of foolish noise, 

Who wears his manhood hale and green : 

And dare we to this fancy give, 

That had the wild oat not been sown, 
The soil, left barren, scarce had grown 
The grain by which a man may live ? 

Or, if we held the doctrine sound 

For life outliving heats of youth, 
Yet who would preach it as a truth 
T5 C&re for at eddy round and round? 



Hold thou the good : define it well : 
For fear divine Philosophy 
Should push beyond her mark, and be 

Procuress to the Lords of Hell. 

A-fi OH yet we (trus/ that somehow good 
Will be tfie final goal of ill, 
To pangs of nature, sins of will, 
Defects of doubt, and taints of blood ; 

That nothing* walks with aimless feet,: 
That not one life shall be destroy'd, 
Or cast as rubbish to the void, 

When God hath made the pile complete ; 


That not a worm is cloven in vain ; 
That not a moth with vain desire 
Is shrivell'd in a fruitless fire, 

Or but subserves another's gain. 


Behold, we know not anything ; 

I "can but trust that good shall fall 
At last far off at last, to all, 

And every winter change to spring. 


So runs my dream : but what am I ? 
An infant crying in the night : 
An infant crying for the light : 

And with no language but a cry. ,y 



THE wish, that of the living whole 

No life may fail beyond thf fr*"" 7Q r 

' ' * vVXMXA.r-vv^jL.'vOt. O 

Derives it not from what we have 
The likest God within the soul? 

Are God and Nature then at strife^ 

That Nature lends such evil dreams ? 
So careful of the type she seems, 
So careless of the single life ; 

That I, considering everywhere 

Her secret meaning in her deeds, 
And finding that of fifty seeds 
She often brings but one to bear, 

I falter where I firmly trod, 

And falling with my weight of cares 
Upon the great world's altar-stairs 
That slope thro' darkness up to God, 

Jianda nf faith an 

And gather dust and chaff, and call . 
To what_IJ:H ifl Lord "f all, 
And faintly trust the larger hope. 


'So careful of the type?' but no. 

From scarped cliff and quarried stone 
She cries, 'A thousand types are gone 
I care for nothing, all shall go. 



ie^JU*^ * Thou makest thine appeal to me : 

rfXvx- mr^vw- /vwoj I bring to life, I bring to death: 

The spirit does but mean the breath: 
I know no more.' And he, shall he, 


Man, her last work, who seem'd so fair, 
Such splendid purpose in his eyes, 
Who roll'd the psalm to wintry skies, 

Who built him oft fruitless prayer, 

Who trusted God was love indeed 
And love Creation's final law 
Tho' Nature, red in tooth /\nrl fl\p~ 

With ravine, shriek'd against his creed 


Who loved, who suffer'd countless ills, 
Who battled for the True, the Just, 
Be blown about the desert dust, 

Or seal'd within the iron hills? 


No more ? A monster then, a dream, 
A discord. Dragons of the prime, 
That tare each other in their slime, 

Were mellow music match'd with him. 

O life as futile, then, as frail ! 

O for thy voice to soothe and bless ! 

What hope of answer, or redress ? 
Behind the veil, behind the veil. 





PEACE ; come away : the song of woe 
Is after all an earthly song : 
Peace ; come away : we do him wrong 

To sing so wildly : let us go. 

Come ; let us go : your cheeks are pale ; 
But half my life I leave behind : 
Methinks my friend is richly shrined; 

But I shall pass ; my work will fail, 

Yet in these ears, till hearing dies, 

One set slow bell will seem to toll 
The passing of the sweetest soul 

That ever look'd with human eyes, 

f hear it now, and o'er and o'er, 
Eternal greetings to the dead ; 
And 'Ave, Ave, Ave,' said, 

' Adieu, adieu ' for evermore. 



IN those sad words I took farewell ; 
Like echoes in sepulchral halls, 
As drop by drop the water falls 

In vaults and catacombs, they fell ; 

And, falling, idly broke the peace 

Of hearts that beat from day to day 
Half-conscious of their dying clay, 

And those cold crypts where they shall cease. 


The high Muse answer'd : ' Wherefore grieve 

Thy brethren with a fruitless tear ? 

Abide a little longer here, 
And thou shalt take a nobler leave.' 



O SORROW, wilt thou live with me 
No casual mistress, but a wife, 
My bosom-friend and half of life ; 

As I confess it needs must be ; 

O Sorrow, wilt thou rule my blood, 
Be sometimes lovely like a bride, 
And put thy harsher moods aside, 

If thou wilt have me wise and good, 

My centred passion cannot move, 
Nor will it lessen from to-day ; 
But I'll have leave at times to play 

As with the creature of my love ; 

And set thee forth, for thou art mine, 

With so much hope for years to come, 
That, howsoe'er I know thee, some 

Could hardly tell what name were thine. 


HE past ; a soul of nobler tone : 

My spirit loved and loves him yet, 
Like some poor girl whose heart is set 

On one whose rank exceeds her own. 



He mixing with his proper sphere, 
She finds the baseness of her lot, 
Half jealous of she knows not what, 

And envying all that meet him there. 


The little village looks forlorn ; 

She sighs amid her narrow days, 
Moving about the household ways, 

In that dark house where she was born. 


The foolish neighbours come and go, 

And tease her till the day draws by : 
At night she weeps, ' How vain am I ! 

How should he love a thing so low ? ' 


IF, in thy second state sublime, 

Thy ransom'd reason change replies 
With all the circle of the wise, 

The perfect flower of human time ; 


And if thou cast thine eyes below, 

How dimly character'd and slight, 

How dwarf'd a growth of cold and night, 

How blanch'd with darkness must I grow ! 

Yet turn thee to the doubtful shore, 

Where thy first form was made a man ; 

I loved thee, Spirit, and love, nor can 
The soul of Shakspeare love thee more. 



THO* if an eye that's downward cast 

Could make thee somewhat blench or fail, 

Then be my love an idle tale, 
And fading legend of the past ; 

And thou, as one that once declined, 

When he was little more than boy, 

On some unworthy heact with joy, 
But lives to wed an equal mind ; 

And breathes a novel world, the while 

His other passion wholly dies, 

Or in the light of deeper eyes 
Is matter for a flying smile. 



YET pity for a horse o'er-driven, 

And love in which my hound has part, 
Can hang no weight upon my heart 

In its assumptions up to heaven ; 

And I am so much more than these, 

As thou, perchance, are more than I, 
And yet I spare them sympathy, 

And I would set their pains at ease, 

So mayst thou watch me where I weep, 
As, unto vaster motions bound, 
The circuits of thine orbit round 

A higher height, a deeper deep. 



DOST thou look back on what hath been, 
As some divinely gifted man, 
Whose life in low estate began 

And on a simple village green ; 


Who breaks his birth's invidious bar, 

And grasps the skirts of happy chance, 
And breasts the blows of circumstance, 

And grapples with his evil star ; 


Who makes by force his merit known 

And lives to clutch the golden keys, , 

To mould a mighty state's decrees, 

Arid shape the whisper of the throne ; 

And moving up from high to higher, 

Becomes on Fortune's crowning slope 
The pillar of a people's hope, 

The centre of a world's desire ; 

Yet feels, as in a pensive dream, 

When all his active powers are still, 
A distant dearness in the hill, 

A secret sweetness in the stream, 

The limit of his narrower fate, 

While yet beside its vocal springs 
He play'd at counsellors and kings, 

With one that was his earliest mate : 



Who ploughs with pain his native lea 
And reaps the labour of his hands, 
Or in the furrow musing stands ; 

' Does my old friend remember me ? ' 



SWEET soul, do with me as thou wilt ; 
I lull a fancy trouble-tost 
With ' Love's too precious to be lost, 

A little grain shall not be spilt.' 

And in that solace can I sing, 

Till out of painful phases wrought 
There flutters up a happy thought, 

Self-balanced on a lightsome wing : 

Since we deserved the name of friends^ 
And thine, effect so lives in me, 
Ajjart of mine mav live in thee 

And move thee on to noble ends. 


You thought my heart too far diseased ; 
You wonder when my fancies play 
To find me gay among the gay, 

Like one with any trifle pleased, 

The shade by which my life was crost, 
Which makes a desert in the mind, 
Has made me kindly with my kind, 

And like to him whose sight is lost ; 



Whose feet are guided thro' the land, 

Whose jest among his friends is free, 
Who takes the children on his knee, 

And winds their curls about his hand : 

He plays with threads, he beats his chair 
For pastime, dreaming of the sky ; 
His inner day can never die, 

His night of loss is always there. 



WHEN on Jiry bed the ijiogniig^t falls, 
I know that in thy place of rest 
By that broad water of the west, 

There comes a glory on the walls ; 


Thy marble bright in dark appears, 
As slowly steals a silver flame 
Along the letters of thy name, 

And o'er the number of thy years. 


The mystic glory swims away ; 

From ofif m~y bed the moonlight dies ; 

And closing eaves of wearied eyes 
I sleep till dusk is'dipt in gravj 


And then I know the mist is drawn 
A lucid veil from coast to coa'st, 
And in the dark church like a ghost 



WHEN in the down I sink my head, 

Sleep, Death's, times my breath ; 

Sleep, Death's twin-brother, knows not Death, 
Nor can I dream of >thee_as_dead : 

I walk as ere I walk'd forlorn, 

When all our path was fresh with dew, 

And all the bugle breezes blew 
Beveillee to the breaking morn. 

But what is this ? I turn about, 

I find a trouble in thine eye, 

Which makes me sad I know, not why, 
Nor can my dream resolve the doubt : 

But ere the lark hath left the lea 

I wake, and I discern the truth ; 

It is the trouble of my youth 
That foolish sleep transfers to thee. 



I DREAM'D there would be Spring no more, 
That Nature's ancient power was lost : 
The streets werejjlack _with smoke and frost, 

They chatter'd trifles at the door : 

I wander'd from the noisy town, 

I found a wood with tliprny_boughs_: 
I took the thorns to bind my brows, 

I worethem like a civic crown : 


I met with scoffs, J met with scorns 

From youth and babe and hoary hairs : 
They call'd me in the public squares 

The fool that wears a crown of thorns :j 

They call'd me^iool^ -they call'd me child : 

I found an angel of the night ; 

{Che voice was low, the look was bright ; 
He, look'd upon my crown and smiled : 

He reach'd the glory of a 

That seem'd to touch it into leaf : 
The voice was not the voice of grief, 

The words were hard to understand. 


I CANNOT see the features right, 

When on the gloom I strive to paint 
The face I know ; the hues are faint 

And mix with hollow masks of night ; 


Cloud-towers by ghostly masons wrought, 
A gulf that ever shuts and gapes, 
A hand that points, and palled shapes 

In shadowy thoroughfares of thought ; 

And crowds that stream from yawning doors, 

And shoals of pucker'd faces drive ; 

Dark bulks that tumble half alive, 
And lazy lengths on boundless shores ; 



Till all at once beyond the will 
I hear a wizard music roll, 
And thro' a lattice on the soul 

Looks thy fair face and makes it still. 



SLEEP, kinsman thou to death and trance 
And madness, thou hast forged at last 
A night-long Present of the Past 

In which we went thro' summer France, 

Hadst thou such credit with the soul ? 
Then bring an opiate trebly strong, 
Drug down the blindfold sense of wrong 

That so my pleasure may be whole ; 

While now we talk as once we talk'd 

Of men and minds, the dust of change, 
The days that grow to something strange, 

In walking as of old we walk'd 

Beside the river's wooded reach, 

The fortress, and the mountain ridge, 
The cataract flashing from the bridge, 

The breaker breaking on the beach. 



RISEST thou thus, dim dawn, again, 
And howlest, issuing out of night, 
With blasts that blow the poplar white, 
And lash with storm the streaming pane ? 



Day, when my crown'd estate begun 
To pine in that reverse of doom, 
Which sicken'd every living bloom, 

And blurr'd the splendour of the sun ; 

Who usherest in the dolorous hour 

With thy quick tears that make the rose 

Pull sideways, and the daisy close 
Her crimson fringes to the shower; 


Who might'st have heaved a windless flame 
Up the deep East, or, whispering, play'd 
A chequer- work of beam and shade 

Along the hills, yet look'd the same. 


As wan, as chill, as wild as now ; 

Day, mark'd as with some hideous crime, 
When the dark hand struck down thro' time., 

And cancell'd nature's be'st : but thou, 


Lift as thou rnay'st thy burthen'd brows 

Thro' clouds that drench the morning star, 
And whirl the ungarner'd sheaf afar, 

And sow the sky with flying boughs, 

And up thy vault with roaring sound 

Climb thy thick noon, disastrous day ; 

Touch thy dull goal of joyless gray, 
And hide thy shame beneath the ground. 




So many worlds, so much to do, 

So little done, such things to be, 
How know I what had need of thee, 

For thou wert strong as thou wert true? 

The fame is quench'd that I foresaw, 

The head hath miss'd an earthly wreath 
I curse not nature, no, nor death ; 

For nothing is that errs from law. 

We pass; the path that each man trod 
Is dim, or will be dim, with weeds : 
What Janie. is left for human deeds 

Tn endless affeJ XLjests with God.^ 

O hollow wraith of^dying fanie, 

Fade wholly, while the soul exults, 
And self-infolds the large results 

Of force that would have forged a name. 



As sometimes in a dead man's face, 

To those that watch it more and more, 
A likeness, hardly seen before, 

Comes out to some one of his race : 

So, dearest, now thy brows are cold, 

I see thee what thou art, and know 
Thy likeness to the wise below, 

Thy kindred with the great of old. 



But there is more than I can see, 
And what I see I leave unsaid, 
Nor speak it, knowing Death has made 

His darkness beautiful with thee. 


LEAVE thy praises unexpress'd 

In verse that brings myself relief, 
And by the measure of my grief 
eave thy greatness to be guess'c^; 

What practice howsoe'er expert 

In fitting aptest words to things, 
Or voice the richest-toned that sings, 

Hath power to give thee as__thou wert ? 


I care not in these fading days 

To raise a cry that lasts not long, 

And round thee with the breeze of song 

To stir a little dust of praise. 


Thy leaf has perish'd-in. the green, 

And, while we breathe beneath the sun, 
The world which credits what is done 

Is cold to all that might have been. 


So Jhere__shall_ silence guard thy fame; 
But somewhere, out of human view, 
Whate'er thy hands are set to do 

Is wrought with tumult of acclaim. 




TAKE wings of fancy, and ascend, 
And in a moment set thy face 
Where all the starry heavens of space 
Are sharpen'd to a needle's end ; 


Take wings of foresight ; lighten thro' 
The secular abyss to come, 
And lo, thy deepest lays are dumb v 
Before the mouldering of a yew ; ^M 

And if the jrntin songs, that woke 
The darkness of our planet, last, 
Thine own shall wither in the vast, 

Ere half the lifetime of an oak. 

Ere these have clothed their branchy bowers 
With fifty Mays, thy songs are vain ; 
And what are they when these remain 

The ruin'd shells of hollow towers? 



WHAT hope is here for modern rhyme 
To him, who turns a musing eye 
On songs, and deeds, and lives, that lie 

Foreshorten'd in the tract of time ? 

These mortal lullabies of pain 

May "bind a book, may line a box, 
May serve to curl a maiden's locks ; 

Or when a thousand moons shall wane 


A man upon a stall may find, 

And, passing, turn the page that tells 
A grief, then changed to something else, 

Sung by a long-forgotten mind. 


But what of that? My darkftji'd ways 
Shall ring with music all the same. : 
To breathe mv loss is more than fame. 

To utter love more sweet than praise. 


AGAIN at Christmas did we weave 

The holly round the Christmas hearth ; 

The silent snow possess'd the earth, 
And calmly fell our Christmas-eve : 


The yule-clog sparkled keen with frost, 
No wing of wind the region swept, 
But over all things brooding slept 

The quiet sense of something lost. 


As in the winters left behind, 

Again our ancient games had place, 
The mimip- picture's breathing grace, 

And dance and song and hoodman-blind. 

Who show'd a token of distress ? 

No single tear, no mark of pain : 

O sorrow, then can sorrow wane ? 

O grief, can grief be changed to Less ? 


O last regret, regret can die! 

No mixt with all this mystic frame, 
Her deep relations are the same, 

.But with long use her tears are dry 


' MORE than my brothers are to me,' 

Let this not vex thee, noble heart ! 

I know thee of what force thou art 
To hold the costliest love in fee. 

But thou and I are one in kind, 

As moulded like in Nature's mint ; 

And hill and wood and field did print 
The same sweet forms in either mind. 


For us the same cold streamlet curl'd 

Thro' all his eddying coves ; the same 
All winds that roam the twilight came 

In whispers of the beauteous world. 


At one dear knee we proffer'd vows, 

One lesson from one book we learn'd, 
Ere childhood's flaxen ringlet turn'd 

To black and brown on kindred brows. 

And so my wealth resembles thine, 

But he was rich where I was poor, 
And he supplied my want the more 

As his unlikeness fitted mine. 




IF any vague desire should rise, 

That holy Death ere Arthur died 
Had moved me kindly from his side, 

And dropt the dust on tearless eyes ; 


Then fancy shapes, as fancy can, 

The grief my loss in him had wrought, 
A grief as deep as life or thought, 

But stay'd in peace with God and man. 

I make a picture in the brain ; 

I hear the sentence that he speaks ; 

He bears the burthen of the weeks 
But turns his burthen into gain. 


His credit thus shall set me free ; 

And, influence-rich to soothe and save, 
Unused example from the grave 

Reach out dead hands to comfort me. 


COULD I have said while he was here, 

' My love shall now no further range ; 

There cannot come a mellower change, 
For now is love mature in ear' ! 

Love, then, had hope of richer store : 

What end is here to my complaint ? 

This haunting whisper makes me faint, 
'More years had made me love thee more.' 



But Death returns an answer sweet : 
'My sudden frost was sudden gain, 
And gave all ripeness to the grain, 

It might have drawn from after-heat.' 

p i 

I I WAGE not any feud with Death 

For changes wrought on form and face ; 
No lower life that earth's embrace 
May breed with him, can flight my faith. 

Eternal process moving on, 

From state to state the* spirit walks ; 
And these are but the shatter'd stalks, 
Or ruin'd chrysalis of one. 


Nor blame I Death because he bare 
The use of virtue out of earth : 
I know transplanted human worth 
Will bloom to profit, otherwhere. 

For this alone on Death I wreak 

The wrath that garners in my heart ; 
He put our lives so far apart 
We cannot hear each other speak. 


DIP down upon the northern shore, 

O sweet new-year delaying long ; 

Thou doest expectant nature wrong ; 
Delaying long, delay no more. 



What stays thee from the clouded noons, 
Thy sweetness from its proper place? 
Can trouble live with April days, 

Or sadness in the summer moons? 


Bring orchis, bring the foxglove spire, 
The little speedwell's darling blue, 
Deep tulips dash'd with fiery dew, 

Laburnums, dropping- wells of fire. 


O thou, new-year, delaying long, 

Delayest the sorrow in my blood, 

That longs to burst a frozen bud 
And flood a fresher throat with song. 



WHEN I contemplate all alone 

The life that had been thine below, 
And fix my thoughts on all the glow 

To which thy crescent would have grown ; 

I see thee sitting crown'd with good, 
A central warmth diffusing bliss 
In glance and smile, and clasp and kiss, 

On all the branches of thy blood ; 


Thy blood, my friend, and partly mine : 
For now the day was drawing on, 
When thou should'st link thy life with one 

Of mine own house, and boys of thine 



Had babbled ' Uncle ' on my knee ; 
But that remorseless iron hour 
Made cypress of her orange flower, 

Despair of Hope, and earth of thee. 

I seem to meet their least desire, 

To clap their cheeks, to call them mine. 
I see their unborn faces shine 

Beside the never-lighted fire, 

I see myself an honour'd guest, 

Thy partner in the flowery walk 
Of letters, genial table-talk, 

Or deep dispute, and graceful jest ; 

While now thy prosperous labour tills 
The lips of men with honest praise, 
And sun by sun the happy days 

Descend below the golden hills 

With promise of a morn as fair ; 

And all the train of bounteous hours 
Conduct by paths of growing powers, 

To reverence and the silver hair ; 

Till slowly worn her earthly robe, 

Her lavish mission richly wrought, 
Leaving great legacies of thought, 

Thy spirit should fail from off the globe ; 

What time mine own might also flee, 

As link'd with thine in love and fate, 
And, hovering o'er the dolorous strait 

To the other shore, involved in thee, 


Arrive at last the blessed goal, 

And He that died in Holy Land 
Would reach us out Jjie shining tfiand^ 

And take 113, a,a a single soul. 


What reed was that on which I leant? 
Ai, backward fancy, wherefore wake 
The old bitterness again, and break 

The low bggitmingspf content. J 



THIS truth came borne with bier and pall, 
I felt it, when I sorrow'd most, 
? Tjs better to have loved and 1 

Than never to have loved at all 


O true in word, and tried in deed, 
Demanding, so to bring relief 
To this which is our common grief, 

What kind of life is that I lead ; 

And whether trust in things above 

Be dimm'd of sorrow, or sustain'd ; 
And whether love for him have drained 

My capabilities of love ; 


Your words have virtue such as draws 
A faithful answer from the breast, 
Thro' light reproaches, half exprest, 

And loyal unto kindly laws. 



My blood an even tenor kept, 

Till on mine ear this message falls, 
That in Vienna's fatal walls 

God's finger touch'd him, and he slept, 

The great Intelligences fair 

That range above our mortal state, 
In circle round the blessed gate, 

Eeceived and gave him welcome there ; 

And led_him thro' the blissful climes, 

And show'd him in the fountain fresh 
All knowledge that the sons of flesh^ 

Shall gather in jbhe ^clecLtimes. 

But I reniam^d^ whose hopes were dim, 

Whose life, whose thoughts were little worth, 
To wander on a darken'd earth, ^ 

Where all things round me breathed of him. 

C^L friendship, equal-poised control, 

O heart, with kindliest motion warm, 

sacred essence, other form, 
O solemn ghost, O crowned soul ! 

Yet none could better know than I, 

How much of act at human bands 
p" The sense of human will demands 
\ By which we dare to live or die. 
V~ xi 

Whatever way my days decline, 

1 felt and feel, tho' left alone, 
His being working in mine own, 

The footsteps of his life in mine ; 


A life that all the Muses deck'd 

With gifts of grace, that might express 

All-comprehensive tenderness, 
All-subtilising intellect : 
And so my passion hath not swerved 

To works of weakness, but I find 

An image comforting the mind, *"*"| 
And in my grief a strength reserved. 

Likewise the imaginative woe, 

That loved to handle spiritual strife, 

Diffused the shock thro' all my life, 
But in the present broke the blow. 

' xv 
My pulses therefore beat again 

For other friends that once I met ; 

Nor can it suit me to forget 
The mighty hopes that make us men. 

I woo your love : I count it crime 

To mourn for any overmuch ; 

I, the divided half of such 
A friendship as had master'd Time ; 

Which masters Time indeed, and is 

Eternal, separate from fears : 

The all-assuming months and years 
Can take no part away from this : 

But Summer on the steaming floods, 

And Spring that swells the narrow brooks, 

And Autumn, with a noise of rooks 
That gather in the waning woods, 


And every pulse of wind and wave 

Eecalls, in change of light or gloom, 
My old affection of the tomb, 
And my prime passion in the grave : 

My old affection of the tomb, 

A part of stillness, yearns to speak : 
'Arise, and get thee forth and seek 
^friendship for the years to come.. 


* I watch thee from the quiet shore ; 
Thy spirit up to mine can reach ; 
But in dear words of human speech 
We two communicate no more.L 


And I, 'Can clouds of nature stain 
The starry clearness of the free ? 
How is it ? Canst thou feel for me 
Some painless sympathy with pain?' 

And lightly does the whisper fall ; 

' 'Tis hard for thee to fathom this ; 
I triumph in conclusive bliss, 
And that serene result of all.' 


So hold I commerce with the dead ; 
/.ft Or so methinks the dead would say ; 
l\p*^ Or so shall grief with symbols play 



And pining life be fancy-fed. 


Now looking to some settled end, 

That these things pass, and I shall prove 
A meeting somewhere, love with love, 

I crave your pardon, O my friend; 


If not so fresh, with love as true, 

I, clasping brother-hands, aver 

I could not, if I would, transfer 
The whole I fftlt*. for Vi^'m fro VQII r 

For which be they that hold apart 

The promise of the golden hours ? 

First love, first friendship, equal powers, 
That marry with the virgin heart. 

Still mine, that cannot but deplore, 

That beats within a lonely place, 

That yet remembers his embrace, 
But at his footstep leaps no more, 


My heart, tho' widow'd, may not rest 
Quite in the love of what is gone, 
But seeks to beat in time with one 

That warms another living breast. 


Ah, take the imperfect gift I bring, 
Knowing the primrose yet is dear, 
The primrose of the later year, 

As not unlike to that of Spring. 



SWEET after showers, ambrosial air, 

That rollest from the gorgeous gloom 
Of evening over brake and bloom 

And meadow, slowly breathing bare 



The round of space, and rapt below 
Thro' all the dewy-tassell'd wood, 
And shadowing down the horned flood 
In ripples, fan' my brows and blow 


The fever from my cheek, and sigh 

The full new life that feeds thy breath 
Throughout my frame, till Doubt and Death, 

111 brethren, let the fancy fly 

From belt to belt of crimson seas 

On leagues of odour streaming far, 

To where in yonder orient star 
A hundred spirits whisper 'Peace.' 


I PAST beside the reverend walls 

In which of old I wore the gown ; 

I roved at random thro' the town, 
And saw the tumult of the halls ; 


And heard once more in college fanes 

The storm their high-built organs make, 
And thunder-music, rolling, shake 

The prophet blazon'd on the panes ; 


And caught once more the distant shout, 
The measured pulse of racing oars 
Among the willows ; paced the shores 

And many a bridge, and all about 



The same gray flats again, and felt 

The same, but not the same ; and last 

Up that long walk of limes I past 
To see the rooms in which he dwelt. 

Another name was on the^doorj 

I linger'd ; all within"^asnoise 

Of songs, and clapping hands, and boys 
That crash'd the glass and beat the floor ; 

Where once we held debate, a band 

Of youthful friends, on mind and art, 

And labour, and the changing mart, 
And all the framework of the land ; 

When one would aim an arrow fair, 

But send it slackly from the string ; 

And one would pierce an outer ring 
And one an inner, here and there ; 

I Jr 


And last the master-bowman, he, 

Would cleave the mark. A willing ear 

We lent him. Who, but hung to hear 
The rapt oration flowing free 

From point to point, with power and grace 

And music in the bounds of law, 

To those conclusions when we saw 
The God within him light his face, 

And seem to lift the form, and glow 

In azure orbits heavenly-wise ; 

And over those ethereal eyes 
The bar of Michael Angelo. 




WILD Jjird, whose warble, liquid sweet, 
iBings Eden thro' the budded quicks, 
O tell me where the senses mix, 
O tell me where the passions meet, 

Whence radiate : fierce extremes employ 
Thy spirits in the darkening leaf, 
And in the midmost heart of grief 

Thy passion clasps a secret joy : 

And I my harp would prelude woe 
I cannot all command the strings ; 
The glory of the sum of things 

Will flash along the chords and go. 



WITCH-ELMS that counter-change the floor 
/ Of/ this flat lawn with, dusk and bright ; . 

And thou, with all thy breadth and height 
Of foliage, towering sycamore ; 

How often, hither wandering down, 

My Arthur found your shadows fair, 

And shook to all the liberal air 
The dust and din and steam of town : 

He brought an eye for all he saw ; 

He mixt in all our simple sports ; 

They pleased him, fresh from brawling courts 
And dusty purlieus of the law. 


O joy to him in this retreat 

Immantled in ambrosial dark, 

To drink the cooler air, and mark 
The landscape winking thro' the heat : 

O sound to rout the brood of cares, 

The sweep of scythe in morning dew, 

The gust that round the garden flew, 
And tumbled half the mellowing pears ! 

O bliss, when all in circle drawn 

About him, heart and ear were fed 

To hear him, as he lay and read 
The Tuscan poets on the lawn : 

Or in the all-golden afternoon 

A guest, or happy sister, sung, 

Or here she brought the harp and flung 
A ballad to the brightening moon : 

Nor less it pleased in livelier moods, 

Beyond the bounding hill to stray, 

And break the livelong summer day 
With banquet in the distant woods ; 

Whereat we glanced from theme to theme, 

Discuss'd the books to love or hate, 

Or touch'd the changes of the state, 
Or threaded some Socratic dream ; 

But if I praised the busy town, 

He loved to rail against it still, 

For 'ground in yonder social mill 
We rub each other's angles down. 



'And merge' he said 'in form and gloss 
The picturesque of man and man.' 
We talk'd : the stream beneath us ran, 

The wine-flask lying couch'd in moss, 


Or cool'd within the glooming wave ; 
And last, returning from afar, 
Before the crimson-circled star 

Had fall'n into her father's grave, 

And brushing ankle-deep in flowers, 

We heard behind the woodbine veil 
The milk that bubbled in the pail, 
And buzzings of the honied hours. 



HE tasted love with half his mind, 

Nor ever drank the inviolate spring 
Where nighest heaven, who first could fling 

This bitter seed among mankind ; 


That could the dead, whose dying eyes 

Were closed with wail, resume their life, 
They would but find in child and wife 

An iron welcome when they rise : 

'Twas well, indeed, when warm with wine, 
To pledge them with a kindly tear, 
To talk them o'er, to wish them here, 

To count their memories half divine ; 


But if they came who past away, 

Behold their brides in other hands ; 
The hard heir strides about their lands, 

And will not yield them for a day. 


Yea, tho' their sons were none of these, 

Not less the yet-loved sire would make 
Confusion worse than death, and shake 

The pillars of domestic peace. 


Ah dear, but come thou back to me : 

Whatever change the years have wrought, 
I find not yet one lonely thought 

That cries against my wish for thee. 



WHEN rosy plumelets tuft the larch, 

And rarely pipes the mounted thrush 
Or underneath the barren bush 

Flits by the sea-blue bird of March ; 

Come, wear the form by which I know 

Thy spirit in time among thy peers ; 

The hope of unaccomplish'd years 
Be large and lucid round thy brow. 


When summer's hourly-mellowing change 
May breathe, with many roses sweet, 
Upon the thousand waves of wheat, 

That ripple round the lonely grange ; 


Come : not in watches of the night, 

But where the sunbeam broodeth warm, 
Come, beauteous in thine after form, 
And like a finer light in light. 


IF any vision should reveal 

Thy likeness, I might count it vain tho nnnfrnr. nf thaJarainj 

Yea, tho' it spake and made appeal 

To chances where our lots were cast 
Together in the days behind, 
I might but say, I hear a wind 

Of memory murmuring the past, 

Yea, tho' it spake and bared to view 
A fact within the coming year ; 
And tho' the months, revolving near, 

Should prove the phantom- warning true, 

They might not seem thy prophecies, 
But spiritual presentiments, 
And such refraction of events 

As often rises ere they rise. 



I SHALL not see thee. Dare I say 
No spirit ever brake the band 
That stays him from the native land 

Where first he walk'd when claspt in clay ? 


No visual shade of some one lost, 

But he, the Spirit himself, may come 
Where all the nerve of sense is numb ; 

Spirit to Spirit, Ghost to Ghost. 


O, therefore from thy sightless range 
With gods in unconjectured bliss, 
O, from the distance of the abyss 

Of tenfold-complicated change, 

Descend, and touch, and enter ; hear 

The wish too strong for words to name ; 

That in this blindness of the frame 
My Ghost may feel that thine is near. 


How pure a* Vparf. a.nd sound in head, 

With what divine affections bold 

Should be the man whose thought would hold 
An hourjjcommunion with the dead. 


In vain shalt thou, or any, call 

The spirits from their golden day, 
Except, like them, thou too canst say, 

My spirit is at peace with all. 

Ttiey haunjb_the^ sijence of _the breast, 
Imaginations calm and fair, 
The memory like a cloudless air, 

The conscience as a sea at rest : 


But when the heart is full of din, 

And doubt beside the portal waits, 
They can but listen at the gates, 

And hear the household jar within. 



BY night we linger'd on theJawn, 
For underfoot the herb was dry ; 
And genial warmth ; and o'er the sky 

The silvery haze of summer drawn ; 


And calm that let the tapers burn 

Unwavering : not a cricket chirr'd : 
The brook alone far-off was heard, 

And on the board the fluttering urn : 


The bats went round in fragrant skies, 
And wheel'd or lit the filmy shapes 
That haunt the dusk, with ermine capes 

And woolly breasts and beaded eyes ; 


While now we sang old songs that peal'd 

From knoll to knoll, where, couch'd at ease 
The white kine glimmer'd, and the trees 

Laid their dark arms about the field. 

But when those others, one by one, 

Withdrew themselves from me and night, 
And in the house 'light after light 

Went out, and I was all alone, 



A hunger seized my heart ; I read 

Of that glad year which once had been, 

In those fall'n leaves which kept their green, 

The noble letters of the dead: 

And strangely on the silence broke 

The silent-speaking jwords, and strange 
Was love's dumb cry defying change 

To test his worth ; and strangely spoke 

The faith, the vigour, bold to dwell 

On doubts that drive the coward back, 
And keen thro' wordy snares^ to track 

Suggestion to her inmost cell. 

So word by word, and line by line, 

Thejdead man touch'd me from the past, 
And alL^L-Qnce it seem'd at last 

TTiP. livin smil Tya,g flgqVH nn 


And mine in this was wound, and whiii'd 
About empyreal heights of thought, 
And came on that which is, and caught 

The deep pulsations of the world, 

^Eonian music measuring out 

The steps of Time the shocks of Chance- 
The blows of Death. At length my trance 

Was cancell'd, stricken thro' with doubt, 

Vague words ! but ah, how hard to frame 
In matter-moulded forms of speech, 
Or ev'n for intellect to reach 

Thro' memory that which I became : 


Till now the doubtful dusk reveal'd 

The knolls once more where, couch'd at ease, 
The white kine glimmer'd, and the trees 
Laid their dark arms about the field : 

And suck'd from out the distant gloom 
A breeze began tfo tremble o'er 
The large leaves of the sycamore, 

And fluctuate all the still perfume, 


And gathering freshlier overhead, 

Rock'd the full-foliaged elms, and swung 
The heavy-folded rose, and flung 

The lilies to and fro&and said 

'The dawn, the dawn,' and died away ; 

And East and West, without a breath, 
Mixt their dim lights, like life and death, 

To broaden into boundless day. 



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, liut pure in deeds, 

At last he beat his music out. 

There lives more faith in honest doubt, 
Believe me, than ir. half the creeds, 


He fought his doubts and gathered 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 Sinai's peaks of old, 
While Israel made their gods of gold, 

Altho' the trumpet blew so loud. l/^ii I 


MY love has talk'd with rocks and treesj 
He finds on misty mountain -ground 
His own vast shadow glory-crown'd ; 

He sees himself in all he sees. 

Two partners of a married life 

I look'd on these and thought of thee 
In vastness and in mystery, 

And of my spirit as of a wife. 



These two they dwelt with eye on eye. 
Their hearts of old have beat in tune, 
Their meetings made December June 

Their every parting was ',o die. 


Their love has never past away ; 
The days she never can forget 
Are earnest that he loves her yet, 

Whate'er the faithless people say. 

Her life is lone, he sits apart, 

He loves her yet, she will not weep, 
Tho' rapt in matters dark and deep 

He seems to slight her simple heart, 

He thrids the labyrinth of the mind, 
He reads the secret of the star, 
He seems so near and yet so far, 

He looks so cold : she thinks him kind, 

Sh keeps the gift of years before, 
A wither'd violet is her bliss : 
She knows not what his greatness is, 

For that, for all, she loves him more, 

For him she plays, to him she sings 
Of early faith and plighted vows ; 
She knows but matters of the house, 

And he, he knows a thousand things. 

Her faith is fixt and, cannot move, 

She darkly feels him great and wise, 
She dwells on him with faithful eyes, 

' I cannot understand : I love.' 




You leave us : you will see the Khine, 
And those fair hills I sail'd below, 
When I was there with him ; and go 

By summer belts of wheat and vine 


To where he breathed his latest breath, 
That City. All her splendour seems 
No livelier than the wisp that gleams 

On Lethe in the eyes of Death. 


Let her great Danube rolling fair 

En wind her isles, unmark'd of me : 
I have not seen, I will not see 

Vienna ; rather dream that there, 


A treble darkness, Evil haunts 

The birth, the bridal ; friend from friend 
Is oftener parted, fathers bend 

Above more graves, a thousand wants 


Gnarr at the heels of men, and prey 

By each cold hearth, and sadness flings 
Her shadow on the blaze of kings : 

And yet myself have heard him say, 


That not in any mother town 

With statelier progress to and fro 
The double tides of chariots flow 

By park and suburb under brown 



Of lustier leaves ; nor more content, 
He told me, lives in any crowd, 
When all is gay with lamps, and loud 
With sport and song, in booth and tent, 

Imperial halls, or open plain ; 

And wheels the circled dance, and breaks 
The rocket molten into flakes 
y^pfcrimson or in emerald rain. 



KISEST thou thus, dim dawn, again, 
So loud with voices of the birds, 
So thick with lowings of the herds, 

Day, when I lost the flower of men ; 


Who tremblest thro' thy darkling red 

On yon swoll'n brook that bubbles fast 
By meadows breathing of the past, 

And woodlands holy to the dead ; 


Who murmurest in the foliaged eaves 
A song that slights the coming care, 
And Autumn laying here and there 

A fiery finger on the leaves ; 


Who wakenest with thy balmy breath 
To myriads on the genial earth, 
Memories of bridal, or of birth, 

And unto myriads more, of death. 


O wheresoever those may be, 

Betwixt the slumber of the poles, 

To-day they count as kindred souls ; 
They know me not, but mourn with me. /C ovxv^^u^vcn. 


I CLIMB the hill : from end to end 
Of all the landscape underneath, 
I find no place that does not breathe 

Some gracious memory of my friend ; 


No gray old grange, or lonely fold, 

Or low morass and whispering reed, 
Or simple stile from mead to mead, 

Or sheepwalk up the windy wold ; 


Nor hoary knoll of ash and haw 

That hears the latest linnet trill, 
Nor quarry trench'd along the hill 

And haunted by the wrangling daw ; 


Nor runlet tinkling from the rock ; 
Nor pastoral rivulet that swerves 
To left and right thro' meadowy curves, 

That feed the mothers of the flock ; 

But each has pleased a kindred eye, 

And each reflects a kindlier day ; 

And, leaving these, to pass away, 
I think once more he seems to die. 




UNWATCH'D, the garden bough shall sway, 
The tender blossom flutter down, 
Unloved, that beech will gather brown, 

This maple burn itself away ; 


Unloved, the sun-flower, shining fair, 

Ray round with flames her disk of seed, 
And many a rose-carnation feed 

With summer spice the humming air ; 


Unloved, by many a sandy bar, 

The brook shall babble down the plain, 
At noon or when the lesser wain 

Is twisting round the polar star ; 

Uncared for, gird the windy grove, 

And flood the haunts of hern and crake ; 

Or into silver arrows break 
The sailing moon in creek and cove : 

Till from the garden and the wild 

A fresh association blow, 

And year by year the landscape grow 
Familiar to the stranger's child ; 

As year by year the labourer tills 

His wonted glebe, or lops the glades ; 

And year by year our memory fades 
From all the circle of the hills. 



WE leave the well-beloved place 

Where first we gazed upon the sky ; 

The roofs, that heard our earliest cry, 
Will shelter one of stranger race. 

We go, but ere we go from home, 

As down the garden- walks I move, 

Two spirits of a diverse love 
Contend for loving masterdom. 

One whispers, 'Here thy boyhood sung 

Long since its matin song, and heard 

The low love-language of the bird 
In native hazels tassel-hung.' 

The other answers, * Yea, but here ~^\ It 

Thy feet have stray'd in after hours /&&&* 

With thy lost friend among the bowers, 
And this hath made them trebly dear.' 

These two have striven half the da}% 

And each prefers his separate claim, 

Poor rivals in a losing game, 
That will not yield each other way. 

I turn to go : my feet are set 

To leave the pleasant fields and farms ; 

They mix in one another's arms 
To one pure image of regret. 




ON that last night before we went 

From out the doors where I was bred, 
I dreain'd a vision of the dead, 

Which left my after-morn content. 


Methought I dwelt within a hall, 

And maidens with me : distant hills 
From hidden summits fed with rills 

A river sliding by the wall. 


The hall with harp and carol rang. 

They sang of what is wise and good 
And graceful. In the centre stood 

A statue veil'd, to which they sang ; 


And which, tho' veil'd, was known to me, 
The shape of him I loved, and love 
For ever : then flew in a dove 

And brought a summons from the sea : 

And when they learnt that I must go 

They wept and wail'd, but led the way 
To where a little shallop lay 

At anchor in the flood below ; 


And on by many a level mead, 

And shadowing bluff that made the banks, 
We glided winding under ranks 

Of iris, and the golden reed ; 



And still as vaster grew the shore 

And roll'd the floods in grander space, 
The maidens gather'd strength and grace 

And presence, lordlier than before ; 

And I myself, who sat apart 

And watch'd them, wax'd in every limb ; 
I felt the thews of Anakim, 

The pulses of a Titan's heart ; 

As one would sing the death of war, 
And one would chant the history 
Of that great race, which is to be, 

And one the shaping of a star ; 

Until the forward-creeping tides 

Began to foam, and we to draw 
From deep to deep, to where we saw 

A great ship lift her shining sides. 

The man we loved was there on deck, 
But thrice as large as man he bent 
To greet us. Up the side I went, 

And fell in silence on his neck : 
. xii 

Whereat those maidens with one mind 

Bewail'd their lot ; I did them wrong : 
'We served thee here,' they said, 'so long, 

And wilt thou leave us now behind?' 

So rapt I was, they could not win 
An answer from my lips, but he 
Replying, 'Enter likewise ye 

And go with us : ' they enter'd in. 



And while the wind began to sweep 
A music out of sheet and shroud, 
We steer'd her toward a crimson cloud 

That landlike slept along the deep. 



THE time draws near the birth of Christ ; 
The moon is hid, the night is still ; 
A single church below the hill 

Is pealing, folded in the mist, 

A single peal of bells below, 

That wakens at this hour of rest 
A single murmur in the breast, 

That these are not the bells I know, 

Like strangers' voices here they sound, 
In lands where not a memory strays, 
Nor landmark breathes of other days, 

But all ia new nT^ a 11 ow 'd ground. 



TO-NIGHT ungather'd let us leave 

This laurel, let this holly stand : 
We live within the stranger's land, 

And strangely falls our Christmas-eve, 

Our father's dust is left alone 

And silent under other snows : 

There in due time the woodbine blows, 

The violet comes, but we are gone. 


No more shall wayward grief abuse 

The genial hour with mask and mime ; 

For change of place, like growth 
Has broke the bond of dying use. 


Let cares that petty shadows cast, 

By which our lives are chiefly proved, 
A little spare the night I loved, 

And hold it solemn to the past. 


But let no footstep beat the floor, 

Nor bowl of wassail mantle warm ; 
For who would keep an ancient form 

Thro' which the spirit breathes no more ? 

Be neither song, nor game, nor feast ; 

Nor harp be touch'd, nor flute be blown ; 

No dance, no motion, save alone 
What lightens in the lucid east 

Of rising worlds by yonder wood. 

Long sleeps the summer in the seed : 
Eun out your measured arcs^ah'd" lead 

The closing cycle rlc" 


RING out^ -gild bells, to the wild sky, 
S! ffi?f[^^dou5 the frosty light : 

The year is dying in the night ; 
Eing out, wild bells, and let him die. 


Ring out the old, ring in the new, 

Ring, happy bells, across the snow : 
The year is going, let him go ; 
Ring out the false, ring in the true. 


Ring out the grief that saps the mincL 
For those that here we see no more ; 
Ring out the feud of rich and poor, 
Ring in redress to all mankind. 

Ring out a slowly dying" cause. 

And jincient forms of party st.vjfp. ; 
Ring in the nobler modes of life. 
With sweeter manners, purer laws. 


Ring out the want, the care, the sin, 
The faithless coldness of the times ; 
Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes, 
But ring the fuller minstrel in. 


Ring out false pride in place and blood. 
The civic slander and the spite : 
Ring in the IQVQ of truth a.nd Hg]]j^ 
Ring in the common love of good,, 

Ring out old shapes of foul disease ; 

Ring out the narrowing lust of gold, 
Ring out the thousand wars of ojd, 
Ring in the thousand.^ ears of peace. 

Ring in the valiant man and free, 

The Ijvrwn* T^aT't, thft Vl'"^* 1 ? 2 **^^ 

Ring out the darkness of the land, 
Ring in the Christ that is to be. 



IT is the day when he was born, 

A bitter day that early sank 

Behind a purple-frosty bank 
Of vapour^ leaving night forlorn. 


The time admits not flowers or leaves 
To deck the banquet. Fiercely flies 
The blast of North and East, and ice 

Makes daggers at the sharpen'd eaves, 


And bristles all the brakes and thorns 
To yon hard crescent, as she hangs 
Above the wood which grides and clangs 

Its leafless ribs and iron horns 

Together, in the drifts that pass 

To darken on the rolling brine 

That breaks the coast. But fetch the wine, 
Arrange the board arid brim the glass ; 

Bring in great logs and let them lie, 
To make a solid core of heat ; 
Be cheerful-minded, talk and treat 

Of all things ev'n as he were by ; 


We keep the day. With festal cheer, 
With books and music, surely we 
Will drink to him, whate'er he be. 

And sing the songs he loved to hear. 




I WILL not shut me from my kind, 
And, lest I stiffen into stone, 
I will not eat my heart alone, 

Nor feed with sighs a passing wind : 

^-^ ii 

What profit lies in barren faith, 

And vacant yearning, tho' with might 
To scale the heaven's highest height, 

Or dive below the wells of Death ? 

What find I in the highest place, 

But mine own phantom chanting hymns ? 
And on the depths of death there swims 

The reflex of a human face, 

I'll rather take what fruit may be 
Of sorrow under human skies : 
'Tis held that sorrow makes us wise, 

Whatever wisdom sleep with thee. 



HEART-AFFLUENCE in discursive talk 

From household fountains never dry ; 

The critic clearness of an eye, 
That saw thro' all the Muses' walk ; 

Seraphic intellect and force 

To seize and throw the doubts of man ; 

Impassion'd logic, which outran 
The hearer in its fiery course ; 


High nature amorous of the good, 

But touch'd with no ascetic gloom ; 
And passion pure in snowy bloom 

Thro' all the years of April blood ; 


A love of freedom rarely felt, 
Of freedom in her regal seat 
Of England ; not the schoolboy heat, 

The blind hysterics of the Celt ; 


And manhood fused with female grace 
In such a sort, the child would twine 
A trustful- hand, unask'd, in thine, 

And find his comfort in thy face ; 

All these have been, and thee mine eyes 

Have look'd on : if they look'd in vain. 

My shame is greater who remain, 
Nor let thy wisdom make me wise. 


THY converse drew us with delight, 
The men of rathe and riper years : 
The feeble soul, a haunt of fears, 

Forgot his weakness in thy sight. 

On thee the loyal-hearted hung, 

The proud was half disarm'd of pride, 
Nor cared the serpent at thy side 
To flicker with his double tongue. 



The stern were mild when thou wert by, 
The flippant put himself to school 
And heard thee, and the brazen fool 

Was soften'd, and he knew not why ; 

While I, thy nearest, sat apart, 

And felt thy triumph was as mine ; 

And loved them more, that they were thine, 
The graceful tact, the Christian art ; 


I Tha 

Nor mine the sweetness or the skill, 

But mine the love that will not tire, 
And, born of love, the vague desire 

That spurs an imitative will. 


THE churl in spirit, up or down 

Along the scale of ranks, thro' all, 
To him who grasps a golden ball, 

By blood a king, at heart a clown ; 


The churl in spirit, howe'er he veil 

His want in forms for fashion's sake, 
Will let his coltish nature break 

At seasons thro' the gilded pale : 

For who can always act? but he, 

To whom a thousand memories call, 
Not being less but more than all 
The gentleness he seem'd to be, 


Best seera'd the thing he was, and join'd 

Each office of the social hour 

To noble manners, as the flower 
And native growth of noble mind ; 

Nor ever narrowness or spite, 

Or villain fancy fleeting by, 

Drew in the expression of an eye, 
Where God and Nature met in light : 

* , 


And thus he bore without abuse 

The grand old name of gentleman, 
Defamed by every charlatan, 

And soil'd with all ignoble use. 


HIGH wisdom holds my wisdom less, 

That I, who gaze with temperate eyes 

On glorious insufficiencies, 
Set light by narrower perfectness. 


But thou, that fillest all the room 
Of all my love, art reason why 
I seem to cast a careless eye 

On souls, the lesser lords of doom. 


For what wert thou ? some novel power 
Sprang up for ever at a touch, 
And hope could never hope- too much, 

In watching thee from hour to hour, 



Large elements in order brought, 

And tracts of calm from tempest made, 
And world-wide fluctuation sway'd 

In vassal tides that follow'd thought. 


;is held that sorrow makes us wise : 
Yet how much wisdom sleeps with thee 
Which not alone had guided me, 
at served the seasons that may rise ; 


For can I doubt, who knew thee keen 
In intellect, with force and skill 
To strive, to fashion, to fulfil 

I doubt not what thou wouldst have been : 

A life in civic action warm, 

A soul on highest mission sent, 
A potent voice of Parliament, 
y A pillar steadfast in the storm, 

Should licensed boldness gather force, 

Becoming, when the time has birth, 

A lever to uplift the earth 
And roll it in another course, 


With thousand shocks that come and go, 
With agonies, with energies, 
With overthrowings, and with cries 

And undulations to and fro. 




WHO loves not Knowledge ? Who shall rail 
Against her Hbeauty '( TMay she mix 
With men and prosper ! Who shall fix 

Her pillars 1 Let her work prevail. 

But on her forehead sits a fire : 

She sets Tier forward countenance 
And leaps into the future chance, 

Submitting all things to desire. 

Half-grown as yet, a child, and vain 
She cannot fight the fear of death. 
What is she, cut from love and fait 

Butspme wild Pallas from the brain 



Of Demons? fiery -hot to burst 

All barriers in her onward race 

For po_w_fix^__ Let her know her place ; 

She Js_the second, not the first. 

j 1 

A higher yhand Jmust make her mild, 

If all be not in vain ; and guide 
Her footsteps, moving side by side 
With wisdom, like the younger child : 

For she_is earthly_of the mind, 

Bu4L Wisdom L _ heavenly of the soul. 

O, friend, who earnest to thy goal 
3o early, leaving me behind, 


I would the great world grew like thee, 
Who grew.est-j^ot alone in power 
And knowledge hut by year and hour 

In reverence and in charity. 


Now fades the last long streak of snow, 
Now burgeons every maze of quick 
About the flowering squares, and thick 

By ashen roots the violets blow. 


Now rings the woodland loud and long, 
The distance takes a lovelier hue, 
And drown'd in yonder living blue 

The lark becomes a sightless song. 


Now dance the lights on lawn and lea, 
The flocks are whiter down the vale, 
And milkier every milky sail 

On winding stream or distant sea ; 


Where now the seamew pipes, or dives 
In yonder greening gleam, and fly 
The happy birds, that change their sky 

To build and brood ; that live their lives 

From land to land ; and in my breast 

Spring wakens too ; and my regret 

Becomes an April violet, ^ 
And buds and blossoms like the rest. 



Is it, then, regret for buried time 

That keen Her in sweet April wakes, 
And meets the year, and gives and takes 

The colours of the crescent prime ? 

Not all : the song, the stirring air, 
The life re-orient out of dust, 
Cry thro' the sense to hearten trust 

In that which made the world so fair, 

Not all regret : tho face will shine 
Upon me, while I muse alone ; 
And that dear voice, I once have known, 

Still speak to me of me and mine : 

Yet less of sorrow lives in me 

For days of" happy commune dead ; 
Less yearning for the friendship fled^ 

Than some strong bond which is to be. 


O DAYS and hours, your work is this, 

To hold me from my proper place, 

A little while from his embrace, 
For fuller gain of after bliss : 

That out of distance might ensue 

Desire of nearness doubly sweet ; 

And unto meeting when we meet, 
Delight a hundredfold accrue, 


For every grain of sand that runs, 

And every span of shade that steals, 
And every kiss of toothed wheels, 

And all the courses of the suns. 


CONTEMPLATE all this work of Time, 
The giant labouring in his youth ; 
Nor dream of human love and truth, 

As dying Nature's earth and lime ; 


But trust that those we called the dead 
Are breathers of an ampler day 
For ever nobler ends. They say, 

The solid earth whereon we tread 


In tracts of fluent heat began, 

And grew to seeming-random forms, 
And seeming prey of cyclic storms, 

Till at the last arose the man ; 


Who throve and branch'd from clime to clime, 
The herald of a higher race, 
And of himself in higher place, 

If so he type this work of time 

_ v 

Within himself, from more to more ; 
Or, crown'd with attributes of woe 
Like glories, move his course, and show 

That life is not as idle ore, 




vi I 

But iron dug from central gloom, 

And heated hot with burning fears, \J 
And dipt in baths of hissing tears, 

And batter'd with the shocks of doom 

To shape and use. Arise and fly 

The reeling Faun, the sensual feast; 
Move upward, working out the beast, 

And let the ape and tiger die. 


DOORS, where my heart was used to beat 

So quickly, not as one that weeps 

I come once more ; the city sleeps ; 
I smell the meadow in the street ; 

I hear a chirp of birds ; I see 

Betwixt the black fronts long-withdrawn 

A light-blue lane of early dawn, 
And think of early days and thee, 

And bless thee, for thy lips are bland, 

And bright the- friendship of thine eye ; 

And in my thoughts with scarce a sigh 
I take the pressure of thine hand. 


I TRUST I have not wasted breath : 
I think we are not wholly brain, 
Magnetic mockeries ; not in vain, 
Paul with beasts, I fought with Death ; 



Not only cunning casts in clay : 

Iwe are.'and then 

What matters Science unto men. 
I would not sta. 

Let him, the wiser man who springs 
Hereafter, up from childhood shape 
His action like the greater ape, 

But I was born to other things. 



SAD Hesper o'er the buried sun 

And ready, thou, to die with him, 
Thou watchest all things ever dim 

And dimmer, and a glory done : 

The team is loosened from the wain, 

The boat is drawn upon the shore ; 
tf Thou listenest to the closing door, 
And life is darken'd in the brain. 


Bright Phosphor, fresher for the night, 

By thee the world's great work is heard 
Beginning, and the wakeful bird ; ' 

Behind thee conies the greater light : 

The market boat is on the stream, 

And voices hail it from the brink ; 
Thou hear'st the village hammer clink, 

And see'st the moving of the team. 



'Sweet Hesper-Phosphor, double name 
For what is one, the first, the last, 
Thou, like my present and iny past, 

Thy place is changed ; thou art the same. 



OH, wast thou with me, dearest, then, 
While I rose up against my doom, 
And yearn'd to burst the folded gloom, 

To bare the eternal Heavens again, 


To feel once more, in placid awe, 
The strong imagination, roll 
A sphere of "stars about ray soul 
In all her motion one with law ; 


If thou wert with me, and the grave 
Divide us not, be with me now, 
And enter in at breast and brow, 

Till all my blood, a fuller w_aye ; 


Be quicken'd with a livelier breath, 
And like an inconsiderate boy, 
As in the former flash of joy, 

I slip the thoughts of life and death ; 


And all the breeze of Fancy blows, 

And every dew-drop paints a bow, 
The wizard lightnings deeply glow, 

And every thought breaks out a rose. 



THERE rolls the deep where grew the tree. 

earth, what changes hast thou seen ! 
There where the long street roars, hath been 

The stillness of the central sea. 

V u 

The hills are_jj]mdows, and they flow 

From form to form, and nothing stands ; 

They melt like mist, the solid lands, 
Like clouds they shape themselves and go. 

But in my spirit will I dwell, 

And dream my dream, and hold it true ; 

For tho' my lips may breathe adieu, 
I cannot think the thing farewell. 


THAT which we dare invoke to bless ; 

Our dearest faith ; our ghastliest doubt ; 
He r They. One. All ; within, without ; 
The ^ower in darkness whom we ffuess ^ 


I found Him not in world or sun, 
Or eagle's wing, or insect's eye ; 
Nor thro' the questions men may try, 
The petty cobwebs we have spun : 

If e'er when faith had fall'n asleep, 

1 heard a voice f believe no more ' 
And heard an ever-breaking shor,e 

That, frpTT^Iorl in flift rWllaaq 



A warmth within the breast would melt 
The freezing reason's colder part, 
And like a man in wrath the heart 

Stood up and answer'd 'I have felt.' 


No, like a child in doubt and fear : 

But that blind clamour made me wise 
Then was I as a child that cries, 

But, crying, knows his father near; 

And what I am beheld again 

What is, and no man understands ; 
And out of darkness came th 

That reach thro* nature, moulding men. 



WHATEVER I have said or sung 

Some bitter notes my harp would give, 
Yea, tho' there often seem'd to live 

A contradiction on the tongue, 

Yet Hope had never lost her youth ; 

She did but look through dimmer eyes ; 

Or Love but play'd with gracious lies, 
Because he felt so fix'd in truth : 

And if the song were full of care, 

He breathed the spirit of the song ; 

And if the words were sweet and strong 
He set his royal signet there ; 



Abiding with me till I sail 

To seek thee on the mystic deeps, 
And this electric force, that keeps 

A thousand pulses dancing, fail. 



T.QVW. ia and was my Lord and King, 
And in his presence I attend 
To hear the tidings of my friend, 

Which every hour his couriers bring, 

Love Js and was my King and Lord, 
And will be, tho' as yet I keep 
Within his court on earth, and sleep 

Encompass'd by his faithful guard, 

And hear at times a sentinel 

Who moves about from place to place, 
And whispers to the worlds of space, 

In the deep night, that all is well. 



AND all is well, tho' faith and form 
Be sunder'd in the night of fear ; 
Well roars the storm to those that hear 

A deeper voice across the storm, 

Proclaiming social truth shall spread, 
And justice, ev'n tho' thrice again 
The red fool-fury of the Seine 

Should pile her barricades with dead, 



But ill for him that wears a crown, 
And him, the lazar, in his rags : 
They tremble, the sustaining crags ; 

The spires of ice are toppled down, 


And molten up, and roar in flood ; 
The fortress crashes from on high, 
The brute earth lightens to the sky, 

And the great ^Eon sinks in blood, 


And compass'd by the fires of Hell ; 
While thou, dear spirit, happy star, 
O'erlook'st the tumult from afar f 
smilest knowing all is well. 


THE love that rose on stronger wings, 
Un palsied when he met with Death. 
Is comrade of the lesser faith 

That sees the course of human things^ 


No doubt vast eddies in the flood 

Of onward time shall yet be made, 
And throned races may degrade ; 

Yet O ye mysteries of good, 


Wild Hours that fly with Hope and F^a. 
If all your office had to do 
With old results that look like new ; 

If this were all your mission here, 


To draw, to sheathe a useless sword, 

To fool the crowd with glorious lies, 
To cleave a creed in sects and cries, 

To change the bearing of a word, 


To shift an arbitrary power, 

To cramp the student at his desk, 
To make old bareness picturesque 

And tuft with grass a feudal tower ; 


Why then my scorn might well descend 
On you and yours. I see in part 
That all, as in some piece of art, 

Is toil cooperant to an end. 


DEAR friend, far off, my lost desire, 

So far, so near in woe and weal ; 

O loved the most, when most I feel 
There is a lower and a higher : 


Known and unknown ; hu man^cJiYinej 

Sweet human hand and lips and eye_j_ 
Dear heavenly friend that canst not die, 

Mine, mine, for ever, ever minej 

Strange friend, pastj_present, and to be ; 

Loved jieeplier^ darklier understood ; 

Behold, I dream a dream of good, 
And mingle all the world with thee. 



THY voice is on the rolling air ; 

I hear thee where the waters run ; 

Thou standest in the rising sun, 
And in the setting thou art fair. 

What art thou then ? I cannot guess ; 

But tho' I seem in star and flower 

To feel thee some diffusive power, 
I do not therefore love thee lesg : 


My love involves the love before ; 
Mv^lgye^is vaster pa.saion now ; 
Tho' niix'd with God and Nature 
I seem to love thee more and more. 

Far off thou art T but ever nigh i_ 

I have thee Stl'1^ a^rl T ; 

I prosper, circled yit-h thy 
I shall not lose thee tho' I die. 

cxxxi -1Z 

O LIVING will that shalt endure 

When all that seems shall suffer shock, 

Eise in the spiritual rock, 
Flow thro' our deeds and make them pure f 

That we may lift from out of dust 

A voice as unto him that hears, 

A cry above the ^conquer'd years-j ^ 

To one that with us works, and trust, JOVXAA^C^\ <A* 
H- <* .CV 



^ ( With faith that comes of self-control. 
} The truths that never can be proved 

J Until we close with all we loved. 

And all we flow from, soul in soul. 


O TRUE and tried, so well and long, 

Demand not thou a marriage lay ; 

In that it is thy marriage day 
Is music more than any song. 


Nor have I felt so much of bliss 

Since first he told me that he loved 
A daughter of our house ; nor proved 

Since that dark day a day like this ; 


Tho' I since then have number'd o'er 

Some thrice three_^ears : they went and came, 
Kemade the blood and changed the frame, 

And yet is loye.jint IPS^ but 

No longer caring to embalm 

In dying songs a dead regret, 
But like a statue solid-set, 

And moulded in colossal calm. 

Js dead,, but love is more 
i Than in the summers that are tkram. 

Fqr_J myself with these have grown 
\ To something greater than before^ 



Which makes appear the songs I made 

As echoes out of weaker times, 

As half but idle brawling rhymes, 
The sport of random sun and shade. 

But where is she, the bridal flower, 

That must be made a wife ere noon ? 

She enters, glowing like the moon 
Of Eden on its bridal bower : 

On me she bends her blissful eyes 

And then on thee ; they meet thy look 

And brighten like the star that shook 
Betwixt the palms of paradise. 

O when her life was yet in bud 

He too foretold the perfect rose. 

For thee she grew, for thee she grows 
For ever, and as fair as good. 

And thou art worthy ; full of power ; 

As gentle ; liberal-minded, great, 

Consistent ; wearing all that weight 
Of learning lightly like a flower. 

But now set out : the noon is near. 

And I must give away the bride ; 

She fears not, or with thee beside 
And me behind her, will not fear. 

For I that danced her on my knee, 

That watch'd her on her nurse's arm, 

That shielded all her life from harm 
At last must part with her to thee ; 



Now waiting to be made a wife, ~A{r 

Her feet, my darling, on Jlie^ea 
Their pensive tablets round ner head, 

And the most living words of life 

Breathed in her ear. The ring is on, 
The 'wilt thQu 3 answer'd, and again 
The 'wilt thou 3 ask'd, till out of twain 

Her sweet 'I will 3 has made you one. 

Now sign your names, which shall be read, 
Mute symbols of a joyful morn, 
By village eyes as yet unborn ; 

The names are sign'd, and overhead 

Begins the clash and clang that tells 
The joy to every wandering breeze ; 
The blind wall rocks, and on the trees 

The dead leaf trembles to the bells, 

O happy hour, and happier hours 

Await them. Many a merry face 
Salutes them maidens of the place, 

That pelt us in the porch with flowers, 

O happy hour, behold the bride 

With him to whom her hand I gave. 
They leave the porch, they pass the grave 

That has to-day its sunny side, 

To-day the grave is bright for me, 

For them the light of life increased, 
Who stay to share the morning feast, 

Who rest to-night beside the sea. 



Let all my genial spirits advance 

To meet and greet a whiter sun ; 

My drooping memory will not shun 
The foaming grape of eastern France. 

It circles round, and fancy plays, 

And hearts are warm'd and faces bloom, 

As drinking health to bride and groom 
We wish them store of happy days. 

Nor count me all to blame if I 

Conjecture of a stiller guest. 

Perchance, perchance, among the rest, 
And, tho 3 in silence, wishing joy. 

But they must go, the time draws on, 

And those white-favour'd horses wait ; 

They rise, but linger ; it is late ; 
Farewell, we kiss, and they are gone. 

A shade falls on us like the dark 

From little cloudlets on the grass, 

But sweeps away as out we pass 
To range the woods, to roam the park, 


Discussing how their courtship grew, 
And talk of others that are wed, 
And how she look'd, and what he said, 

And back we come at fall of dew. 

Again the feast, the speech, the glee-, 

The shade of passing thought, the wealth 
Of words and wit, the double health, 

The crowning cup, the three-times-three, 


And last the dance ; till I retire : 

Dumb is that tower which spake so loud, 
And high in heaven the streaming cloud, 
And on the downs a rising: fire : 


And rise, O moon, from yonder down, 
Till over down and over dale 
All night the shining vapour sail 

And pass the silent- lighted town, 

The white-faced halls, the glancing rills, 
And catch at every mountain head, 
And o'er the friths that branch and spread 

Their sleeping silver thro' the hills ; 

And touch with shade the bridal doors, 
With tender gloom the roof, the wall ; 
And breaking let the splendour fall 

To spangle all the happy shores 

By which they rest, and ocean sounds, 
And, star and system rolling past, 
A soul shall draw from out the vast 

And strike his being into bounds, 

And, moved thro' life of lower phase, 
Result in man, be born and think, 
And act and love, a closer link 

Betwixt us and the crowning race 

Of those that, eye to eye, shall look 

On knowledge ; under whose command 
Is Earth and Earth's, and in their hand 

Is Nature like an open book ; 



No longer half-akin to brute, 

For all we thought and loved and did, / / 

And hoped, and suffer'd, isJbut seed +--t 

Of what in them is flower and fruit : C 


Whereof the man, that with me trod 

This planet, was a noble type 

Appearing ere the times were ripe, 
That friend of mine who lives in God, 

xxxvi \ 

That God, which ever lives and loves, 

One God, one law, one element, 

And one far-off divine event, 
To which the whole creation moves. 



TENTATIVE arrangement of the Dates of events that shape the 
character of the mourning that is the subject of this poem. 

See Notes on XXVIII. i., XXX. iv., for the grounds of this 

XVIII. Hallam's funeral, January, 1834. 
XXVIII. ^Christmas, 1834. 
XXXIX. Spring, 1835. 

LXXII. *Second anniversary of Hallam's death, September, 

LXXVIII. Christmas, 1835. 
XCV. Summer, 1836. 

XCIX. Third anniversary of Hallam's death, September, 

GUI. Removal from Somersby, 1837. 

CIV. Christmas, 1837. 

CVI. New Year, 1838. 

CVII. Hallam's birthday anniversary, February, 1838. 
CXV. Spring, 1838. 

Conclusion, 1842. 


i. " God is Love," in Scripture. 

ii. God's power on man, of life (1. 2) and death (1. 4). 

1. light and shade ; suns and planets (with their satellites). 

* The Christmas of 1833 and the first anniversary of the death are passed 
over in silence in the poem. 

NOTES. 121 

iii. 1. Thou, God, madest a life after death for man. 

2. Eschatology and teleology are sciences unknown on earth. 
iv. 1. Love, the Son of God, is Christ in Christian belief. 

3, 4. The human will is free only when it subjects itself to 
the will of God : i. e. when will and wish are not in conflict ; 
when man willingly performs what God commands. 

v. 1. little systems ; human institutions, such as the various 
religions the various forms of religion that have risen and 
fallen in the history of man ; as opposed to Religion, which is 
a divine institution, one and eternal. 

3. Rays refracted from a central source of light. 

vi. 3, 4. Knowledge, too, comes from God, and therefore is not 
evil, darkness ; ignorance. 

vii. 2, 3. mind ; that knowledge grows in : soul ; that rever- 
ence dwells in. 

4. as before ; when both knowledge and reverence were 
less (as opposed to "vaster," next stanza), but still were both in 
harmony. The growth of knowledge need not produce discord 
with faith and reverence in man's nature ; but, alas ! it does (as 
in the next stanza). 

viii. 1. fools ; wanting knowledge, ignorant : slight ; wanting 
reverence, flippant': " the fool hath said in his heart, there is no 

2. Ignorant superstition fears God, true religion loves Him, 
half -grown knowledge too often mocks Him. When, ceasing to 
be superstitious, we cease to fear God, we should, in true 
religion, love Him ; but, too often, ceasing to be ignorant and 
beginning to have knowledge, we pass on at once from fear of 
God to mockery of Him (i.e. to atheism). 

3. to bear ; sc. the trial. 

4. thy light ; the knowledge of God in revelation. 

ix. 1,2. sin ... worth . . . began ; demerit and merit in my actions 
and conduct, since I began life as a responsible creature, seem'd ; 
for I am no true judge of either my sin or my worth. 

3. Man has merit in man's eyes, but he has no merit in the 
eyes of God. 

4. to thee ; to be pleaded before thee. 

x. 3. I trust; an instance of the "faith" of stanza vi. in 
thee ; though dead to me, here on earth. 

xi. 2. wasted ; in grief. 

3. fail in truth ; for instance, when grief drives me to call in 
question Thy justice, or to doubt of the existence of a future life. 


I. i. 1. St. Augustine or Goethe ? The author's note says he 
alluded to Goethe's creed : "From changes to higher changes." 

2. Goethe was a great and many-sided poet. St. Augustine, 
though he wrote no poetry, was of a highly poetic temperament. 

3. St. Augustine, in one of his sermons, speaks of the Ladder 
of Life, which Longfellow has made the subject of a poem. 
Augustine rose on this " ladder" from libertine to saint and to 
be the greatest father of the Latin church. Goethe rose on it, 
too, in the pursuit of that " development of self"- that was the 
one great object of his life. 

4. dead selves ; what they once were in thought and 

ii. 4. interest; to be paid in smiles: "tears" are the capital 
expenditure. "The good that grows out of grief" : author's note. 

iii. and iv. I prefer that my love should show itself by running 
into even extravagant demonstrations of grief than that, by 
checking all demonstrations of grief, I should give occasion for 
men to say that my love is worn out. 

iii. 1. Let the one keep the other alive. Drowning people do 
attempt so to save themselves. 

2. I prefer that my grief should continue unabated rather 
than abate or be changed to joy. gloss as if there is a beauty 
and charm in such a grief : such a grief is darkness, but not 

3. 4. The luxury of such a grief : the joy of hugging one's 
grief, dance ; may have been suggested by the title of Holbein's 
Plates, beat the ground ; this is the literal meaning of the 
Lat. tripudiare, to dance a religious dance. Giving vent to grief 
in song is only next door to dancing such a dance. The ancients 
had the custom of funeral dances and songs. 

iv. 1. victor Hours : for time triumphs over grief makes us 
forget it. This idea forms the subject of the unpublished poem 
"The Victor Hours," that originally was one of the sections of 
In Memoriam. 

2. long result ; result in the long run, viz. forgetting the 
object of love, and grief for its loss. 

4. He, once, was all love and all grief : he, now, has for- 
gotten both ! 

1 II. i. Perhaps a yew tree in the churchyard near the rectory 
of Somersby, the poet's residence at the time. 

3, 4. What a cold, feelingless embrace this is ! 

ii. The clock in the church tower, that has timed many a 
death and burial in the parish. 

NOTES. 123 

iii. The yew, an evergreen, is a type of the unchanging 
Stoic : the changes of the seasons touch it not ; no more do 
those of human life from prosperity (1. 1) to adversity (1. 2). 
gale : of winter. 

v 4. Such a length of life for some kinds of trees is nothing 

iv. 2. Sick for ; longing for. See note on XXXIX. 

3. I forget my warm human nature and become, or fancy I 
become, cold and passionless like thee. 

III. i. 3. sweet ; because congenial : bitter ; because it holds 
out no hope of a life to come. The sorrow here meant is one 
unhallowed by hope : hence it is called " lying." 

ii. 1. blindly ; obeying the law of blind fate, run ; in their 
orbits, but only to decay and destruction. 

2. The hand of fate has woven a web across the sky that 
shuts out man from God ; so that neither can see or hear or care 
for the other. This "lie" of sorrow's may be suggested by 
(a) the tangle made by the tracks of shooting stars during a 
November meteor shower, suggesting dire confusion and im- 
pending destruction, or (6) the classical mythologic fancy of the 
thread of life, spun by the Fates, only to be cut, or (c) a cataract 
across the eyes of heaven. The objection to (a) is that it is a 
passing phenomenon, whereas here a permanent state of things 
is meant : that to (b) is that it is not close enough, web and yarn 
being different things: that to (c) is that the word "sky" can 
scarcely mean God, whose eyes it is that fate blinds with this 
disease. Whatever the metaphor, the meaning remains un- 

3. waste places ; worlds gone to decay and destruction. 

4. Unlike the murmurs of reviving life that came at dawn 
from Memnon's statue, dying ; not merely setting daily, but 
about to be extinguished for ever. 

iii. 2. music : like Pythagoras's Music of the Spheres. 

3. Sorrow's song of despair " The universe is destined to 
sorrow that knows no healer : to death without life. " 

4. form ; for nature, according to this view, has no sub- 
stance, empty hands ; for nature has no gifts to bestow : her 
hand, like sorrow's, is empty. 

iv. 3, 4. Allow sorrow no entrance into my thoughts, when I 
begin to think on this subject : shut her out as I would an im- 
purity from the blood. 

IV. The hours of sleep bring no relief to my heart, 
i. 3. The mind is purposeless in sleep. 


ii. heart, how can you mourn for a loss, when you scarcely 
seem to know what the loss is ? 

iii. 2. early years ; these thy early years : now -when yet so 
young. The past is not meant. 

3, 4. Let my heart break and let me die ; for grief has frozen 
my tears, and they refuse to flow. Water cooled below the 
freezing point continues liquid, if undisturbed, but freezes at 
once, if shaken ; and water, at the moment of freezing, expands 
and may burst the vessel that holds it. The stupefaction caused 
by first grief is the cooling and freezing : death, that he wishes 
for, is this bursting. 

iv. 2. below ; below the closed eyelids, in the brain of the 

4. You shall not helplessly mourn your loss, but you must 
try and master your grief. 

V. i. 3. As nature partly reyeals and partly conceals her 
soul. A Wordsworthian belief. 

ii. 2. measured language ; metre, verse, like that of this 

iii. 2. Words can but roughly express my grief. 

VI. ii. 2. At the thought that so many hearts break daily. 

iv. 4. vast ; opposed to the narrowness of a grave on land, 
wandering ; the currents of the ocean are meant. 

v. 1. know; that death is at hand, wrought; either (1) was 
composing a poem, or (2) was cultivating my poetic faculty 
(without any reference to the actual composition of a poem). 

3, 4. The joint result of the poet's composition, and his 
friends' criticism of it. 

x. All the three deaths in this section are sudden, like 

VII. i. Hallam's London residence, a house of mourning now, 
and dark and unlovely now, to the poet. 

iii. far away ; in the business quarters and great thoroughfares 
of London. 

VIII. iv. 1. that other ; the " happy lover " of stanza i. 

v. 3, 4. Tennyson's gift of poetry which he no longer cares to 
exercise, but which he feels is not dead within him. fades not ; 
like immortelle flowers. 

vi. 1. it ; this poetic faculty of mine and the poems its exer- 
cise produced. 

NOTES. 125 

2. it ; this poem of In Memoriam. The it here and the it in 
1. 1 have not quite the same antecedent, plant ; instead of a 
wreath of flowers : i.e. compose and dedicate to his memory. 

3. it; (1) the poetic faculty, or (2) In Memoriam. bloom; 
perpetuate his memory. 

4. I shall be unable to compose any more poetry, and In 
Memoriam will be my last (and an unsuccessful) effort at poetic 
composition. If it in 1. 3 is, however, taken to mean In 
Memoriam, then "bloom" and "die" in 11. 3 and 4 mean its 
success or failure. 

IX. i. The ship is called fair because it holds what the 
house, in VII., does not hold, and which therefore is called 

iv. 1. The stars are to act as beacons to the ship. Sphere; 
light up. 

2. before ; let there be no head winds. 

v. 2. widow'd ; bereaved of a friend : often so used in the 

X. iii. 1. Our natural wish to be buried in consecrated ground, 
and unlike Shelley's friend, Adonais, in our own native land : so 
"homebred fancies," 1. 3. 

2. The quiet of the churchyard. 

iv. 1. To be buried out in the cemetery. 

3. To be buried in the chancel of the church. 

4. The wine in the Eucharist. 

v. Such was the fate of Milton's friend, Lycidas. 
1. wells ; the fountains of the deep. 
4. tangle ; a kind of sea-weed. 

XI. i. 2. calmer grief ; than mine. 
4. The time is autumn. 

ii. 1. wold ; some Lincolnshire down to which the poet has 
gone, and from which he commands a view of the country round, 
familiar to his and Hallam's eyes, and of the sea, which now 
bears his remains ; and, by an irresistible impulse, his spirit 
takes wings, and flies (XII. ) hence to the Atlantic or the Medi- 
terranean, to meet the ship. 

4. into ; as the sun rises. 

iii. The flat Lincolnshire country, with the sea visible. 
3. towers ; of churches. 


XII. i. A carrier pigeon with a message, from a beleaguered 
city, tied under its wing. 

ii. 1,2. I ; my spirit, ark ; my body : as Noah's dove left 
the ark. 

3. A dead mass of nerves, no longer worked upon by the 
living power of the will. 

iii. 1. mirrors ; the plural means the ever-shifting horizons. 
large ; the widest horizon visible is out at sea. 

3, 4. rise ; out of the horizon, marge ; the verge of the 
horizon, linger weeping ; for my spirit dare not fly further and 
light on the ship, to meet which it has flown across seas ! The 
mingled imagination and emotion of these five short stanzas are 
without parallel in any other elegy. 

v. 3, 4. sits ; on the wold (XI. ii. ). an hour ; during which 
he had been lost in this trance. 

XIII. i. 2. reveals ; in dream. 

3. moves ; in sleep, doubtful ; for that is his state of mind 
when half asleep : when quite awake, of course, he has no doubt, 
but knows, too well, she is gone. 

4. fall ; when he is half-awake, these ; that I shed. 

ii. 1. A loss that will never grow old, but will ever be keen 
like new-born grief. 

4. silent ; in the grave. 

iii. A life removed from this world, and no longer a living 
human being, but a spirit this is the awful thought. 

iv. 1, 2. It will take many years for the poet to realize the fact 
that his friend is dead. 

3, 4. At present he cannot realize that fact, but is in a 
state of doubt and uncertainty, and his tears flow at the possi- 
bility of his friend being dead. When this is changed to certainty, 
grief will be too deep for tears, dream ; such as the widower 
dreamt, namely that his wife was not dead. 

v. 1. Supply "have" after "my fancies," 11. 3, 4. I have a 
strong delusion he is not dead, and that the ship brings only an 
ordinary cargo. 

4. burthen ; Hallam's remains. 

XIV. i. 2. thou ; the ship. 

XV. i. 2. The west, at sunset. 

ii. The tense throughout this section is present : except in the 
three verbs in 11. 1, 2, which are evidently in the past tense ; 

NOTES. 127 

for, without a strain in the case of "crack'd," they cannot be 
taken as past participles, with "are" understood. 

4. Of course the wind cannot dash sunbeams against any- 
thing during a storm : but the violent change of light and shade 
cast on tree and tower during a storm is here meant, along ; 
because the sunbeams are level at sunset. 

iii. 2. thy ; of the ship. 

4. Because they suggest to my fancy the strain and stir 
among your masts and cordage. 

iv. 2. Fear that the ship is not sailing on a calm sea. 

4. Would fondly gaze on the sublimity of the stormy scene, 
because it is so congenial to my own state of unrest. 

v. 2. labouring ; to bring forth rain. 

3. topples ; top-heavy masses of cumuli clouds are meant, 
like the "hammer-heads" seen, in the monsoons, at the 
Sandheads at the mouth of the Hugli. 

4. fire ; of the setting sun. 

XVI. i. words; namely "calm despair" and "wild unrest" 
in XI. iv. and XV. iv. 

ii. Changes of calm and storm only affect the surface of the 
sea (they extend only a few fathoms deep in reality) : whose 
depths always remain the same, unaffected, unchanged. So, 
moods like "calm despair" and "wild unrest" can only pass 
over the surface of my mind, whose depths remain unchanged in 
their abiding grief. So the surface of a lake, now reflects a clear 
sky with the lark hovering in it, and now, a clouded sky, but its 
depths of still dark waters are ever the same. 

2. touch; like "transient form," 1. 3, is opposed to the 
unchanging essence of the ' ' deep self " of 1. 4. 

XVII. i. 1. comest; art coming. The ship has not yet arrived. 

2. CompelTd ; impelled : Latin sense, prayer ; as in st. ii. 
1. 4. 

4. So great is the power of prayer ! 

ii. 2. circles ; of the horizon. The ship's actual arrival, and 
the landing of its precious burden, are passed over. 
4. This is the prayer of st. i. 1. 2. repeated here. 

iii. 1. roam; in future voyages: hence "is" in 1. 3 is an 
emphatic future : is sure to be : so " guards," 1. 4. 

iv. 1. tempests ; storms in winter. 

3. summer dark ; summer nights : " dark " is a noun. 

4. The benign influence of the stars. 


XVIII. ii. 1. 'Tis little ; for 'tis the gratification of an " idle 
dream. " 

3. Clevedon was the home of the Hallams. 

3. familiar names ; of members of the family buried there. 

iii. 1. pure hands ; the natural jealousy of affection requires 
this, head ; Milton, too, avoids the word " body" and uses this 

3. "whatever ; seems to extend the invitation beyond human 
mourners, to all nature around. 

v. 2. firmer ; to bear grief : the " weaker " mind would try to 
escape grief through death. 

3. Hoarding up in memory the looks of his friend when 
alive, that it cannot find in his dead face. 

XIX. i. 1. Hallam died at Vienna in September 1833 : he was 
buried at Clevedon, on the Severn, in January 1834. 

ii. The silent flood tide passing up, hushes the babbling of the 
down -running stream, and the echoes the hills gave to that 

3. half ; up half its course. 

iii. 3, 4. The flood- tide of grief, rushing into the heart, chokes 
all utterance that might have given relief. 

iv. It is only when grief has ebbed that it finds utterance and 
relief : it was during such intervals, therefore, that the sections 
of this elegy were composed. 

XX. i. 1. It is such lesser griefs .that alone are not too deep 
for utterance. 

ii. 1. as it is ; such as it is; namely, not deep, and therefore 
capable of being fully expressed. 

2. Relieve the fulness of grief by tears. 

3, 4. Their grief is not irreparable. 

iii. 3, 4. The deeper griefs that freeze at the heart : see IV. 
v. 4. Their grief is irreparable. 

XXI. i. A touch of the conventional in the ' ' grass " and the 
"pipes": Hallam was buried in a side aisle, not out in the 
churchyard. Of course by ' ' pipes " is meant the composition of 
this elegy. There is an unmistakable tone of listlessness in this 

ii. 1." traveller; such a one as is addressed by the " Siste, 
Viator " inscribed on tombs. 

NOTES. 129 

3. This fellow effeminately indulges in. grief instead of 
manfully checking it. 

iv. 2. barren; "what is the good of it?" asks this man of 
"public spirit," to whom the "progress of mankind" is every- 
thing, the joys or griefs of individual men are nothing. 

3. For instance, the French Revolution of 1830 ; the increase 
of middle-class M.P.'s and the Reform Bill of 1832; the Chartism 
of 1838 (if the date of composition of this section allows this last 

v. 3. To feel ; with the help of the telescope, spectrum 
analysis and mathematics, charms ; as witches once did. 

4. If the date of composition of this section, or of this 
portion of it, allows it, the reference may be to the discovery of 
new satellites : namely, two of Uranus in 1847 ; that of Neptune 
in 1846 ; and one of Saturn in 1848. secrets ; what would be 
called the elements of a star or planet, in astronomy. See note 

vi. 4. Sing because they must sing : cannot help it. 
vii. 2. ranged ; can shift for themselves, can fly. 

XXII. i. 3. Hallam entered Cambridge in Oct. 1828. 
ii. 1. singing ; composing verse. 

iii. fifth ; September 1833. 

XXIII. i. 1, 2. The alternations of the deeper grief, and the 
lesser grief : during the latter was this " song " sung. 

3. Alone ; friendless : what depth of desolation in this word 
and its repetition ! where ; at the last mile-post in the journey 
of my life. 

4. cloak'd ; the mystery of death is meant. 

ii. P. Death unlocks the truth or falsehood of all religions : 
what in life we believe in faith, we shall after death, see to be 
true or false. 

2. wander ; for life now is purposeless to me. 

iii. 2. The study of Greek mythology embodied in Greek 
poetry ; that endowed every object in inanimate nature with a 
living genius or spirit, e.g. those of streams, and forests. 

3. lavish ; luxuriant in nature, and rich in mythologic 

4. Pan ; either (1) the Universe, as the Greeks named and 
personified it ; or (2) the country, flocks and herds, hills and 
fields : Pan being the god of these. 


iv. 1. each : of the two friends. 

3, 4. We understood each other's thoughts, that the inspira- 
tion of the moment gave birth to, even before we could give 
them expression in words. 

3. Thought... Thought; say, Hallam's..., say, Tennyson's. 

v. 2. It seemed to me that all that future time could bring 
could be nothing but good : how cruelly was this confidence 
destined to be disappointed ! 

3. Spring ; the spring-time of life. 

vi. 1, 2. Greek philosophy and the sublimity of Greek specu- 
lative thought (Argive heights) set forth in poetic, imaginative 
language : Plato for example. 

3, 4. Greek pastoral and idyllic poetry : Theocritus for 
example. In short, they studied Plato and Theocritus, and 
authors like them. 

XXIV. i. 4. Sunspots, that besides their motion of rotation, 
have a proper motion of their own (wandering). 

ii. This earth would have been a paradise happier than Adam 
and Eve's. 

4. Since this earth was created. 

iii. 1, 2. A haze magnifies objects seen through it. 

3, 4. Supply "is it." The low depths of present dejection 
make the heights of my past happiness look higher still, relief ; 
contrast : a word from sculpture. 

iv. 3. Become a globe of pure light, a star of perfect happiness : 
the distance of the past obliterating the dark spots and imper- 
fections, that the near view of the present reveals. 

4. When the past was present, and we saw it from near, we 
saw it in all the details of its inequalities and imperfections ; 
just as we, moving on this earth, see it in all the details of its 
imperfections, but, if we could possibly see it from the moon or 
one of the planets, would see it as a perfect globe of light. 

XXV. ii. 2. Although they are burdened with the weight of 
the message tied round their neck or wing : so in my case. 

XXVI. i. 4. fickle ; in friendship. 

ii. 1. eye ; of God, the Eternal Present. 

4. Towers of course fall many years after they are built, but 
the eye of God sees both events as if they occur at the same 
time, for a thousand years in His eye are but a day. The wording 
of the line was perhaps suggested by the sudden fall of the tower 
built at Fonthill by Beckford, the author of Vahtek. 

NOTES. 131 

iii. 2. Past and future are alike present in God's eye. 

4. Foresee that present love will end in future indifference, 
iv. Then may I die to-night. 

4. proper ; own. 

XXVII. i. 2, 3. Those who are the slaves of life without love 
are like those who can endure life without freedom, noble rage ; 
fierce love of freedom. 

ii. Those who are content with a life spent in gratifying 
appetite and instinct, without restraint from a moral law. 

2. field of time ; the whole term of his natural life, a long 
life of sensual enjoyment, like that of a beast of the field : as 
opposed to these four short years of spiritual love. 

iii. 4. The indifference to spiritual friendship, arising from an 
absence of the higher susceptibilities of man's nature ; the ignoble 
peace of mind that the gratification of the lower wants of human 
nature and insensibility to its higher wants bring. 

XXVIIL i. Christmas of 1834. These and other tentative 
dates are reckoned between two certain dates Hallam's burial 
in Jan. 1834, and the removal of the Tennysons from Somersby 
before Christmas of 1837. They are to be taken, not as giving 
any indication of the dates of the composition of the sections to 
which they are assigned, but as indications of the progress of the 
action of the poem. There seem to be proofs that some of these 
sections were composed long after the dates of the actions to 
which they refer, although those actions are narrated in the 
present tense. As the whole poem was not published till 1850, 
it is likely that sections, written earlier, were altered or added 
to, later on. Hence references, in these sections, to events 
between 1842, when the action of the poem closes, and 1850, 
when the poem was published, are quite possible. For instance, 
see notes on XXI. v. 4 and CXXVII. ii. 3. If the dates 
of action in these notes are put together, it will be seen 
that between the winter of 1833 and the spring of 1838, there is 
a significant absence of any reference to the Christmas of 1833 
(see note on XXX. iv. 4) and the first anniversary of Hallam's 
death : significant, because these two would be occasions when 
grief was too deep for utterance (see XIX.) or too deep for 
any utterance, except that of groans and sighs : and these have 
never been committed to paper, except once in the score of the 
Dead March in Saul. But as time passes, and grief lessens, 
there are references, successively, to summer, to New Year, and, 
lastly, to Hallam's birthday anniversary. After the return of 
peace to the mind that the reference to this event indicates, 
there is a pause of years, preparing us for the tone of happiness 
that pervades the conclusion. It is the art of a master alone 


that could have effected so great a transition, and ended an elegy 
on death with an epithalamiura, without once, during the pro- 
gress of the transformation, giving even a slight occasion for a 
charge of insincerity, artificiality, inconstancy, conventionality ! 
Tennyson, like Milton, frees himself from grief, and goes to fresh 
woods and pastures new ; but it takes him near ten years before 
he can do it. 

iii. 1. Each voice swells out and fails four times in the wind. 
This need not mean that the chimes consisted of a set of four 
bells for each of the four village churches within hearing 
distance : for that is very unlikely. All that is needed is four 
strokes on a bell or bells, to correspond to the four syllables of 
the Scripture Christmas greeting quoted in 11. 3, 4. It is well 
known how the fancy can make any tune out of the ringing of 
even a single bell. 

iv. 1. This year ; the whole of 1834 : this is another proof that 
this is the Christmas of 1834, not of 1833. 

XXIX. iii. Observe the old custom in private, as long as the 
church countenances it in public : keep up Christmas in Christian 
homes (11. 3, 4), as long as it is celebrated in Christian churches 
(11. 1, 2). 

iv. 1. Old sisters ; use and wont : but they are the same thing. 
4. time ; when at last they will become things of the past. 

XXX. ii. 4. Shadow ; there is a grimness about this word, and 
an " awful sense " this presence inspires, that make one reluctant 
to think it means Hallam's spirit. Death has been called a 
shadow a few sections back (in XXII. ), and it is a violence to 
one's feelings to apply the same word, so soon after, to Hallam's 
spirit. It is better, therefore, to take it to mean the gloom cast 
by the remembrance of death. The line need not mean that 
death is watching for another victim. 

vi. 4. Last year : in 1833. It would seem, at first sight, 
possible to take this to mean "last Christmas"; in which case 
the Christmas of this section would be that of 1833, and not of 
1834 ; but if so, this description of the Christmas of 1833 would 
follow upon the description of the funeral (in XVIII. ) that took 
place in Jan. 1834. This violation of the chronological order of 
events is itself, therefore, a reason why this meaning should not 
be accepted. And there is another reason. Could they have 
found it in their hearts, even in mockery of grief, to have sung 
songs at the Christmas of 1833, before the funeral was over? 
The answer is plain : that first Christmas, like the first anniversary 
of the death, was one of silent grief, of which no record exists in 
this poem (see XIX. iv.). That Tennyson meant to observe a 

NOTES. 133 

chronological order in the arrangement of the events referred to 
in the sections of this poem, is very likely, because such an order 
is essential to the history of his grief : and that history would not 
be properly unfolded if he went back from Jan. 1834 to Dec. 
1833. It is this combination of a chronological with, call it, a 
psychological or emotional order, that gives unity to the poem, 
and prevents it from being a number of separate poems each 
section, one poem merely strung together and numbered 1 to 
131. The words "last year," therefore, here refer to some 
occasion in 1833 (not of course Christmas) when they and Hallam 
were together, which must have been before September (see 
note, XXVIII. i.). This order of the events that unfold the 
history of his grief, is not affected either by the absence of order 
in references to events not connected with this history (e.g. those 
in XXI. ), or by a different order in the dates of composition of 
the sections (e.g. CXXI. is said to have been composed shortly 
before 1850, and XXXIX. in 1868). St. iii. as it originally stood 
(it is quoted in the author's notes) shows that originally the 
Christmas of 1833 was meant. 

vii. 1. The earthly body. 

2. gathered ; because the soul is no longer diffused through 
the body ; a neo-Platonic fancy, the same ; the identity of the 
soul is not lost at death. 

3. seraphic flame ; the soul : it is the nominative. 

4. veil to veil ; the astral bodies the soul successively clothes 
itself in, as it passes from star to star, after leaving this earthly 

viii. 4. Hope ; of a future life and therefore of meeting Hallam 
in that life, born ; when Christ died and rose from the dead. 

XXXI. ii. 4. praise ; for revealing the secret of the grave. 
praise ; for raising from the dead. Both would be praises of 
God : though the question was addressed to Lazarus, the revela- 
tion of what life was beyond the grave should have come, not 
from Lazarus, but from Him who raised him, or, if from Lazarus, 
only by His permission, if praise was to be accorded for the 
revelation, as it had been for the raising from the dead : both 
praises being accorded to the same person. 

iii. 3, 4. Even God seemed to rejoice with His human creatures, 
iv. 2. What happened during those four days in the grave. 

3, 4. He ; Christ, rather than Lazarus, for the reason given 
above. Evangelist ; St. John. 

XXXII i. 1. Mary's eyes are not eyes full of curiosity to know 


ii. I. love ; gratitude to one who had raised her brother from 
the dead. 

iii. 1. subtle thought ; such as those of theologians on ques- 
tions regarding the next world. 

iv. 1. prayers ; as opposed to lives spent in asking questions 
and raising doubts. 

2. loves ; earthly love, such as for a brother or a friend, 
higher love ; spiritual love, such as for the " Life " (ii. 4) : 
love of God, the giver of life, and, when it pleases Him, the taker- 
away of life ; the latter event not lessening our love for Him. 

3. Who do not allow their souls to be tainted by the 
impurity of doubt of " subtle thought and curious fears." 

XXXIII. i. 1. toil and storm ; of scepticism. 

2. purer air ; that of philosophic deism, or of belief in an 
impersonal God, or of pantheism, purer ; than scepticism. 

3. Beliefs like the above may fitly define their God as a 
circle whose centre is everywhere, and circumference nowhere. 

4. Discard a personal God in faith, and discard ritual in 

ii. 2. The belief taught her in childhood regarding a future 

4. The sweet music made by faith in the soul of such a one. 

iii. 1. form ; as in i. 4 above, and in " flesh and blood " in i. 3 

2. good ; good works ; typified in the bathing with spike- 
nard, in XXXIII. iii. 4. 

3. Christ and his sufferings. 

4. The resurrection. 

iv. 1. ripe ; and not needing, therefore, to be ripened by 
divine inspiration, as he vainly thinks. 

2. law within ; conscience, which is not a safe or sufficient 
guide without faith "fixed in form." 

XXXIV. i. 1,2. Like a Dead Sea apple. 

ii. If I had no faith in a future life, I would think this universe 
to be, not the handiwork of a benevolent creator, who designed 
it to be the theatre of man's present life as a preparation for a 
future life ("aim"), but the transformation of a shapeless mass 
into a beautiful form the transformation of a chaos into a cosmos 
such as the imagination of a poet might figure ("fantastic"). 
(For example the imagination of a poet, Lucretius, did fancy 
that a chance aggregation of atoms produced this fair universe. ) 

NOTES. 135 

On the contrary, I know that this universe is the work of a 
creator who created it with a design ("aim"), and pronounced 
it to be good, not beautiful merely, created it with a moral 
purpose ("conscience") and not merely to gratify the aesthetic 
sense ("beauty"). 

2. Fantastic ; such as a poet's fancy may conjure up. 
beauty ; because meant merely to please the aesthetic faculty : 
beautiful to look upon and nothing more. 

3. Poet ; Lucretius for example. 

4. conscience ; the goodness of the Creator who created 
this universe, not for the sake of its beauty merely (the 
Greek cosmos), but with a moral purpose, aim ; namely, the 
elevation and perfection of man's nature. 

iii. 1. such as I ; if I had no faith. 

4. patience ; in waiting for the natural termination of life. 

iv. 1. at once ; for example by the philosophic suicide of an 
Epicurean like Lucretius, peace ; that of ceasing to exist (see 
CXX. ii. 4. n.). 

XXXV. i. 1, 2. voice ; of a dear one from the grave ("narrow 
house "). 

ii. 1. here ; in the grave. 

iii. 1. The sea has no home, as the soul of man has after death, 
but wanders for ever round the earth. 

3. JEonian ; this word should be written in the text with a 
small, not capital, en. It is a quasi-Greek adjective from altiv, 
eternity : in Scripture, too, the hills are called "everlasting." 

4. The deposits of mud and sediment on the sea-bottom that 
form deltas and land above sea level in the course of time. 

iv. 2. forgetful shore; death, that almost makes one forget 
that there is such a thing as immortality. 

v. 2, 3. If death looked as if no future life followed it, then 
love would never have come into existence : for love, like life, it 
once born can never die. 

4. narrowest ; within the space of this life alone, and of a 
sensual type (st. vi.). 

vi. 1. A sort of friendship-in-idleness. 

2-4. A friendship between animal natures, for mere animal 

The section means this : If a voice from the grave were to tell 
me that there is no life beyond it, my first wish to enjoy love, 
even during life here, would be chilled by the thought that love, 
like material nature, must shortly die ; but second thoughts 


would tell me that, if after death there is no life, then love 
cannot be the thing I feel it to be, namely, immortal and 
spiritual, but that it is what I know it cannot be, namely, a short- 
lived thing during life on earth and a fellowship of mere animal 

XXXVI. i. 1. manhood ; the natural man : the natural in 
man's nature, darkly ; imperfectly revealed : St. Paul's word. 

2. mystic ; for man is half God, half human, for the natural 
and the divine unite in him. 

4. current coin; " understanded of the people," as the 
Prayer Book puts it : intelligible to every one. 

ii. 1. The wisdom of God had to deal with man's limited 
powers of mind and heart. 

2. closest ; most direct, unmetaphorical, unparabolic. fail ; 
to be understood by everybody. 

3. tale ; for example a parable in the Gospels. 

4. Shall be understood by the humblest intelligence. 
iii. 1. The Word became Man. 

2, 3. Christianity as taught by Christ's life and work, 
iv. 4. South-Sea islanders. 

XXXVII. i. 1. Urania ; Milton's heavenly muse, or celestial 
light, that inspires him to sing of heaven and the next life. 

2. here ; in taking up such questions as these. 

3. priest ; like Milton or Dante, or Luther or Calvin. 

ii. 1. down ; from sky to earth, rill, fountain of such small 
poetry as alone you can compose. 

2. An earthly Parnassus, as opposed to the heavenly hill on 
which the divine muse sits. 

iii. 1. Melpomene ; the muse of tragedy, who may well be 
made the muse of elegy too, as here. 

3. The language of John the Baptist. 

vi. 2. clasp'd ; enfolded, truth revealed ; to all, as opposed 
to truth hidden from common mortal eyes, like the truths seen 
by Urania. 

3. I have talked in a rambling way on the subject of 
Christianity, master's field ; a reference to the parable of the 
vineyard : Matthew, xx. The master is God. 

4. darken'd ; because poetry such as mine cannot make 
inspired truths revealed religion any clearer, sanctities ; 
divine truths. 

NOTES. 137 

XXXVIII. i. 2. alter'd; for all things are changed to me 
since his death. 

ii. 1. blowing ; blossoming. 

XXXIX. i. He is back to the yew tree of II. i. 

2. random ; dealt through the sheer idleness of a now 
purposeless existence. 

3. cloud : of pollen dust, living smoke ; cloud of fertilizing 
pollen, shaken down by the concussion of the strokes. The date 
of composition of this section is said to be 1868, but its place in 
the history of the poet's grief is somewhere in 1835 ! (See note 
on XXX. iv. 4.) 

ii. 2. This, then, is spring-time : perhaps of 1835. 

3. The fertilization of plants is meant, by insects or the wind 
carrying the pollen from the male to the female flowers. The 
yew being dioecious, the male and female flowers blossom on 
the same tree : hence "feeling" in the text, which would hardly 
be a suitable word if they blossomed on different trees. 

iii. 1. The grave becomes doubly dark if there is no hope of 
life beyond it. 

3, 4. The darkness of the foliage is lighted up for a time by 
the flowering ; but when the flowers are gone the darkness 

This whole section means this, as far as I can make it out : 

In II. the unrelieved gloom of the yew tree corresponded to 
the unrelieved gloom of the poet's mind when its wound was 
still raw. Here the gloom of the yew, relieved by its frail, 
short-lived blossoming, corresponds to the gloom of his mind, 
relieved by short-lived gleams of hope, that the recurrence of the 
sense of his loss can quickly dispel. In II. , when for a moment 
he felt that he was like the yew, or should wish to be like it, 
lying sorrow, seizing the opportunity, whispered to him that he 
was right : for ' ' look round, and do you not see death with 
no hope beyond, everywhere in the universe ? " Here, in 
XXXIX. , he again feels for a moment that his present state is 
like the present state of the yew tree ; and sorrow again 
whispers opportunely, "Hope for nothing lasting from these 
passing gleams, for does not the flowering of the yew pass into 
gloom again ? " So far is plain enough : what is not plain is the 
effect finally left on the poet's mind by all this. I suggest that 
the effect is this : 

The asking of the question in both II. and XXXIX., "What 
whisper from her lips ? " indicates a passing wish in moments of 
weakness, caused by crushing grief, to listen to the whisper and 
do what it suggests: the addition of the word "lying," in the 
question itself, shows quick recovery from this weakness, even 


before the wish is fully formed. He seems to say, "My case 
and that of the yew tree are not the same after all. Why? 
Because I, a living soul, have faith in a future, that the yew, a 
perishable body, cannot have. In that faith I will not make 
myself case-hardened, as sorrow, unhallowed by faith, cynically 
suggests I should ; but I will keep myself soft and vulnerable, in 
the hope that my wound will at last be healed." This hope is, 
however, yet a very faint one, and the gloom prevails over it, 
as the tone of the next section and viii. 3 in it show. The 
question is, does or does not the poet accept the analogy between 
his case and that of the yew tree ? The prevailing gloomy tone 
of XXXIX. and XL. seems to show that he does : the word 
" lying " seems to show that he does not or does against his better 
self. This is the crux of the section. 

XL. i. 1. The widowhood of friendship is meant, 
ii. 2. latest ; last : archaic use. 
4. Smiles and tears. 

v. 2. Hallam's death on earth was his marriage into heaven : 
"fruit " shows this to be the metaphor. The poet uses the word 
' ' heaven " here for his idea of the next world, and not merely 
for the popular idea of it, as in XXXIII. : so again in LXIII. 

4. full-grown energies ; corresponding to the matronhood of 
stt iv. 

vi. This analogy, too, does not suit the poet's case, and 
cannot, therefore, console him: for "she returns to her old 
home, but he will never come back to me ! " 

2. Her father's house, 
vii. 1. Tell them the news : tell them all they wish to hear. 

2. boast ; a mother's boast " the finest baby," etc. 

4. Will think the grandchild to be as dear as their daughter 
was when she was a babe, things ; relationships. 

viii. The despair of these lines cannot be mistaken ; but there 
is faith in the second line, where the word "till" shows the 
limit beyond which he will at last be out of reach of despair. 
Despair to him, at most, can be life-long, but no further. 

3, 4. We two never, shall meet again on earth. 

XLI. i. 4. Physics again : rarefied air rises above denser air. 

iii. 3. grades ; youth, middle age, old age. light ; pass beyond 
the bounds of ether. 

iv. 3. The fear of hell, as hell was understood in mediaeval 

NOTES. 139 

4. Either (1) hell, where many are, whose names and sins 
and crimes are alike forgotten : unlike Dante, Tennyson does not 
care to remember such things or people : or (2) the God-forsaken 
world of hell. Tennyson implies that the torments of hell are 
not purposely inflicted by a vindictive God, such as the Jewish 
law and early Christianity and mediaeval theology, like Dante's, 
conceived God to be. They suffer in hell because by their con- 
duct on earth they have deserved that the mercy of God should 
forget them : or (3) a hell such as was once believed in : the 
Hell of a creed outworn. The last is the most probable meaning. 
Tennyson disclaimed belief in the heaven and hell of the 
theology and poetry of mediaeval and even later times, like 

v. 2. inner ; of conscience. 

4. no more ; not even after death : in the next world he will 
yet occupy a lower rank among the blessed than his friend will. 

vi. 3. Future ages in the next life. 

4. Hallam will be one life in advance of Tennyson in the next 
world. Thus, in the language of the old patristic fancy of the 
hierarchy of the angels, the former will have advanced to the 
rank of a seraph, while the latter enters into that of a cherub. 

XLII. i. 3. We studied at the same university, and attended 
the same classes ; but that was all the equality between us. 

ii. 1. Place; space, the universe, retain; but as unequals, such 
as we were on earth. 

iii. 3. For example, Tennyson : who knows not, for he sees 
not, the future life. 

4. For example, Hallam : who knows the future life, for he 
enjoys it. 

XLIII. i. 2. folded ; in sleep at night, bloom ; flower. Old 
English and German use. 

3. The darkness of the grave dividing the light of two lives 
this and the next. 

ii. 2. body ; which it has put off. 

3. traces ; of friendship on earth. 

4. A dim consciousness or memory of its past life is all that 
relieves the blank oblivion of the soul in death, all ; because it 
knows no more knows not the future life as yet. 

iii. 2. still garden ; where every flower is folded up in sleep. 

3. figured; with those "traces of the past" above, leaf; 

iv. 2. Time ; opposed to eternity. 


3. prime ; morning, i.e. the rising of the soul from the 

4. The word "soul" here and the language of the whole 
section show that the reference is to the awakening of the soul 
after the sleep of death, and not to the resurrection of the body. 

XLIV. i. 1, 2. Here on earth man grows from infancy to man- 
hood. Do the dead similarly grow to spiritual manhood ? 

3, 4. Man forgets the incidents of his infancy the time that 
elapses between birth and the closing of the sutures of the skull. 
Do the dead similarly forget the incidents of their life on earth ? 
doorways ; the fontanels in the infant skull that close about the 
third year after birth. 

ii. 2. the memory. 

4. The reminiscence of Plato's philosophy and Wordsworth's 
poetry is different. 

iii. 1. years ; of life in the next world led by the happy dead. 
2. Death ; the dead, so ; as man does on earth. 
4. ranging ; (1) taking thy place and rank around the throne 
of God as a peer of heaven, or (2) wandering in the happy 
Elysian fields of the Christian heaven, in the company of brother 

iv. 3, 4. Tennyson's guardian angel will fly up to heaven, 
where he has the access that is denied to his charge, and will 
resolve Hallam's doubt into certainty. "He will tell you that 
I, Tennyson, am that friend whose memory has flashed across 
your mind, and that I remember you : how much I remember 
you ! " For power of imagination and emotion this section 
stands by the side of section XII. How much is left unspoken, 
and yet is clearly understood as if it was all spoken out, in the 
four words " and tell thee all ! " 

The meaning of the whole section is this : 

When the soul of man is born into this world in the body of 
an infant, it forgets, in early childhood, the incidents of infancy, 
with the exception of faint reminiscences flashed now and then 
on its mind ; while, as the child advances towards manhood, 
he acquires more and more knowledge of life on earth. Is the 
case the same with the happy dead ? Do they also, when they 
die on earth and take their birth in heaven, forget the incidents 
of their life on earth, with the exception of a reminiscence of 
them now and then, while they grow more and more in know- 
ledge of the things of the next life ? If so, then, perchance, 
during one of these flashes of reminiscence a faint recollection 
of some friend on earth will cross Hallam's mind ; and then my 
guardian angel, watchful over me, reading his thoughts, will tell 

NOTES. 141 

him ivho that friend is, and how he has never forgotten him. 
Hallam's recent death makes him, as it were, a child in heaven, 
where he is growing in knowledge of things heavenly, as a child 
on earth grows in knowledge of things earthly : while to both 
the reminiscences of the things of the former life of each are 

XLV. i. 4. Has never thought of its own identity. 

iii. 1. rounds ; forms a definite conclusion as to his own 
identity. The formation of this definite notion from the vague 
state of mind preceding it, is compared, by the word "rounds," 
to the formation of the compact globe of a star, from the vast 
diffused expanse of the mass of a nebula, separate; from its 
surroundings: from the "not-I." 

2. clear memory ; of self : of all that the I or the ego thinks 
and feels and wills and does. 

3. frame : either (1) the external world within which his 
existence as a separate unit is conditioned ; or (2) (better) his 
body that defines the limits of his self or identity. 

4. isolation ; identity : the fact that he is he or / am I. 

iv. Life on earth in the flesh has for its object to produce, as 
its fruit, spiritual life in the next world. This object would be 
frustrated if man's identity in this world were lost in the next, 
and he had to begin his moral and intellectual life afresh in the 
next world after death in this. 

1. blood and breath ; life in the flesh. 

2. due ; the duty they were expected to fulfil : namely, 
preparing man for the next life. 

3. If man had to establish his identity afresh, and so had 
to begin his moral and intellectual life afresh in the next world, 
instead of making this later life a continuation of the earlier life, 
that on earth. What is needed for this continuation is one and 
the same unbroken identity, and not two separate identities, one 
in this, the other in the next life, with a break between. 

4. Beyond the grave and in the next life, second birth ; 
birth into the next life, the first birth having been into this life. 
of Death : brought about by, following upon, death. 

XLVI. i. 1. lower track ; life on earth. 

2. path ; our past lives on earth. 

3. The past becomes dim in memory as life advances, 
growing hour ; the future into which life ever advances. 

4. Lest we should faint, as we should, if the memory of our 
past lives, with their follies and worse, was ever glaringly vivid 
before our eyes. It is a merciful providence that ordains this 


failing memory of the past and an engrossing occupation of the 
mind with the present and the future. 

ii. 1. there ; in the next life. 

2. dawn ; life after death. 

3. clear ; not " shadowed " as it was during life on earth. 

4. eternal ; never to be forgotten. 

iii. 2. increase ; Scripture word : (1) the return from field and 
flock ; or (2) interest ; the capital being the talents Hallam had 
received from nature, the interest, his cultivation of those 
talents (as the parable sets forth). 

3. Though Hallam belonged to a rich family, wealth of mind 
is more meant here. 

4. five years ; of Hallam' s college life at Cambridge Univer- 
sity, Oct. 1828 to Sept. 1833. 

iv. Thus, then, Hallam's identity will extend from his life on 
earth to his life in the next world : and when he becomes aware 
of this identity, will he not also become aware of the identity of 
that friendship that enriched that life ? and will not this friend- 
ship also extend to the next life, as it extended over four short 
years of this life ? To what would have been the clear but cold 
and colourless landscape of a highly gifted intellectual nature 
and spotless moral character, Hallam's friendship with Tenny- 
son imparts colour and warmth to use the language of painters. 

2. bounded ; flourishing on this earth only ; and, in their 
case, for four short years only. 

3. also ; as thou hast over this life on earth, brooding star ; 
love (i.e. friendship) broods over the landscape of life. A star 
changes not with change in that which it shines over : the 
landscape of Hallam's life changed when, for example, he passed 
from the studies of the University to the practice of the law, 
and when he passed from earth to heaven ; but the star of his 
friendship with Tennyson continued and will continue unchanged, 
its loving gaze upon the lives of both. 

4. The light of friendship imparts colour and warmth to 
life, in both this and the next world, marge to marge ; this 
expression also occurs in st. ii., and, one thinks, should have 
the same meaning. In st. ii. the meaning is: "the landscape 
of our past lives on earth shall lie eternally clear when we shall 
look back upon it from the next world. " Giving to it this same 
meaning here in st. iv. would be repetition without advance in 
the thought. Further, though applicable in st. ii., it is inap- 
plicable here ; for it would mean that the star of love brooded 
over the whole of the earthly lives of these two friends, which it 
did not, for it brooded over only a portion of it. Therefore a 
meaning for this expression here, different from its meaning in 

NOTES. 143 

st. ii., is forced upon us. This meaning seems to be: "a 
friendship for only five years, or for only a whole lifetime on 
earth, is too short. Therefore may the star of love brood over 
the whole of life, from the beginning of friendship in this world 
into eternity in the next." Thus "marge to marge" in st. ii. 
means from birth to death on earth ; in st. iv. it means, from 
the beginning of friendship in this world into eternity in the 
next. The marge or horizon of st. ii. is extended, as it were, in 
st. iv. in one direction that of the future. The landscape in 
st. ii. is that of life on earth, of eadh of the two friends : the 
landscape here in st. iv. is that of love, during those four years 
of life on earth, and during the whole of the next life in eternity : 
the former has its "clear" light, the latter alone has a "rosy 
warmth ; " and this warmth is imparted by the sun of friend- 

XL VII. i. 2. move his rounds ; run his course in the orbits 
appointed to it in the successive individual lives he is destined 
to live, of which life on earth is only one : perform his work as 
long as his identity and personality last. The reference is to 
the transmigration souls undergo before attaining the state of 
Nirvana, according to Buddhist doctrine, which Tennyson here 
rejects, rounds ; the plural indicates succession of lives, not 
succession of daily or yearly duties. fusing ; (and after per- 
forming his allotted work) having his identity and personality 
obliterated, and becoming a diffused mass, as he once was, 
before he "rounded to a separate mind." 

3. skirts ; self is the body : the thoughts and passions and 
actions of self are its dress. 

4. The Buddhist doctrine of Nirvana : or Spinoza's doctrine 
that man's soul is only a mode of the divine existence, in which 
it merges after death. 

ii. 2. Eternal form ; St. Paul's glorified body at the resurrec- 
tion, but used here without reference to that event : as opposed 
to this perishing body of the flesh. 

3. The soul in its glorified body will retain its identity. 

4. What directness and passion in these words ! 

iii. 1. endless ; unlike the short-lived four years' feast on earth. 

3. vaster ; than this dream and hope of love eternal. 

4. at least ; if this endless feast will not be permitted. 

iv. 1. sharpest height ; the last of these individual lives, and 
the highest ; from which we take the leap into the infinite ocean, 
where all individuality is drowned and lost. 

2. Before we lose identity and individuality, and become 
merged in the general soul. 


3. Where the two souls may meet for the last time, before 
losing their identity and individuality in that " ocean." 

4. light ; the infinite ocean of light, God, in which they 
vanish, as a lark vanishes in the light of the sun. \ 

XL VIII. ii. 1. part ; analyse. 
2. harsher mood ; that of fresh and violent grief. . 
4. Solve the doubt as love dictates : this is the "reasoning" 
of the emotions. 

iii. 2. better ; than philosophy that persists in discussing the 
forbidden subject, wholesome law ; namely, that poetry is not 
fit to answer these doubts, no more than philosophy and science 

4. deepest measure ; fullest answer. 

iv. 4. Dip their wings in the deep pool of tears, instead of 
trying to dive to the bottom. 

XLIX. i. 1. Poetry, the influence of nature, philosophy. 

2. random ; as opposed to the steady influence of the fixed 
star of his dead friend's invisible presence. 

3. shiver'd lance ; broken pencils of light. 

ii. thought . . . fancy . . . song ; all three mean poetry. 

4. sullen surface ; of grief's dark pool. 

iii. 2. winds ; of thought, fancy, song, above. 

3. seeming-wanton ; for the smiling ripple is of the bitter 
waters of grief. 

iv. 3. muffled ; because his grief is below the surface. 

L. i. 2. A languid circulation and cramps, as signs of coming 

ii. 3. maniac ; while to the happy, time is well-regulated. 
dust ; while on the happy, time scatters flowers. 

4. flame ; the torches of the furies of mythology. 
iii. 2. men ; like those alluded to in XXI. 

iv. 2. point ; show to me. 

4. twilight ; governed by "point" in 1. 2. 
2-4. To point out to me that the end of life on earth, is the 
beginning of life eternal. 

LI. ii. 3. clear eye ; of the spirit. 

iii. 3, 4. Death is great, not because he merely destroys life, 
but because he bestows wisdom on those whom he slays : the 

NOTES. 145 

dead, therefore, are wise, and he will conceal nothing from the 
eyes of the dead Hallam, though he may have concealed some 
things from those of the living Hallam : for the one is wiser 
than the other. 

iv. 1. climb ; the hill of virtue, fall ; into the abyss of vice. 

3. ours ; of us the living. 

4. And not to be our accuser, like the devil. 

LIL i. 1, 2. The fact that I am not quite like you is a proof 
that I do not quite love you : sincere love (like sincere flattery) 
imitates what it loves. 

4. topmost froth; opposed to the depths of weighty 

ii. 4. An imperfect record of friendship, like the poet's 
"words," cannot impair the strength of friendship. 

iii. 1. a spirit; say, Tennyson's own. 

2. ideal ; of a perfect human life, as far as it can be perfect ; 
say, Hallam's life. 

3. record; of the life of one whom we can read of, but 
cannot meet in life : the lives of the good and great men of the 
past, sinless years ; not even the record of the life of Christ. 
A living example or a living presence alone can keep us true to 
our ideal. 

iv. 3. The good actions of your life are garnered up for reward. 

4. shell; what is evil in us: the "flecks of sin" above, 
pearl; what is good in us: the "wealth" above, sunder' d ; 
when will this sundering be ? at death ? or in the course of life 
in the next world ? 

LIII. ii. 1. give to ; give way to, give in to, entertain. 

3. barren ; without even wild oats (i.e. vice) being sown in it. 

4. grain ; the grain of a virtuous life. 

iii. 4. The eddy of vice into which the passions plunge the 

iv. 1. Hold to the good yourself, and trust to the example you 
set to others, rather than to philosophising about good and evil. 

2. divine Philosophy; the "fancy" of st. ii., that tries to 
justify the ways of God to man, by teaching that vice may lead 
to virtue, divine ; because its object is to further the benevolent 
aim of God. 

3. push ; be made an excuse for leading a vicious life. 

4. Be made to further the ends of evil, by encouraging vice 
among the young and unthinking, ancl so serve to populate hell. 



LIV. i. 3. nature ; our lower nature, of will ; deliberate. 

4. doubt ; between good and bad. taints ; hereditary vice, 
ii. 4. pile ; edifice of a moral universe. 

iii. 1. We trust that the very sufferings of the humblest 
creatures are not due to wanton mischief, but contribute, how- 
ever remotely, to the building up of this moral universe. 

4. gain ; food for birds and lizards, 
iv. 3. to all ; and not exclusively to the " elect." 

4. The grief and sinfulness of every individual man will 
ultimately contribute towards his joy and purification. 

v. 2. infant ; one who knows nothing, understands nothing, 
but only feels a want : here, the want, the longing for an answer 
from God to this question, night ; of ignorance. 

3. light ; knowledge divinely inspired. 

LV. i. 3. Derives ; is derived. 

4. Man resembles God in the possession of that divine 
emanation, the soul : which is the immortal, eternal element in 
his nature. 

ii. 1. God and the soul are eternal. Nature, matter and body 
are perishable. 

3. type ; the species. Lines 3, 4 are illustrated in iii. 3, 4. 

iv. 1. firmly trod ; when I thought that nature in her opera- 
tions followed God. 

3, 4. The degrees by which faith evolves itself out of 
materialism, darkness ; in which nature seems to be at strife 
with God. 

v. 2. I obtain only unsatisfactory answers to my doubts from 
mere rational discussion of them. 

3. Lord of all ; and, therefore, Lord of this question, and 
able to answer it : and Lord over nature and able to control her 
apparently merciless operations for the furtherance of His own 
merciful ends. 

4. larger hope: that not only the race ("type"), but the 
individual, will be saved. 

LVI. i. 2. From fossils contained in cliff-faces and caves and 

4. Nature seems to say, "I have no mercy, for race or 

ii. 3. " Spiritus " in Latin means the breath ; the breath ceases 
at death ; therefore, the soul dies with the body : this is the 
argument of materialism. 

NOTES. 147 

4. "I, Nature, know nothing about what you call the immor- 
tality of the soul." 

iii. 2. splendind purpose ; one not limited to this life. 

3, 4. Man praised God in hymns for " the bounties and bless- 
ings of nature lavished on him," at the very time when he was 
suffering from her pitiless rigour ; and he continued to pray to God 
for blessings, even after God had seemed to turn a deaf ear to all 
his prayers. Why? Because man's faith was so strong, so 
unconquerable. One who has no true faith praises his idols only 
when they seem to grant his prayers, and punishes them when 
they seem to refuse. 

iv. 2. final law ; although other laws seemed to intervene and 
to retard the action of this law for a time : for instance, the law 
of the survival of the fittest, in science ; the law that the weakest 
goes to the wall, in popular ethics ; illustrated in 11. 3, 4, and 
based upon that final law of the materialist that hatred is the 
law of nature (while faith holds that love is the final law of 

v. 3, 4. Shall man, a spirit in essence, who fought for the 
spiritual ("the true, the just") against the material, when he 
dies, leave nothing behind him but the material " dust-to-dust" 
of his body, to be scattered in the desert, or shut up fast as a fossil 
in geologic strata ? 

vi. 1. No more ? will nothing more of him survive ? his soul ? 
monster ; ^ot a man, but a creature no higher than the saurian 
of 1. 2. dream ; unreality. 

2. discord ; that jars upon the harmony of God's creation, 
prime ; the great saurian reptiles belong to a late geologic age, 
but still an age earlier than the age in which man came into 

3. slime ; the reptiles of the lias, and other beds, could only 
have lived under an excessively warm and moist climate. 

vii. 2. thy ; of one from the dead : Hallam's, say. 

4. the veil ; of death. We shall get both answer and 
redress in the next world. 

LVII. i. 2. earthly ; and not of things beyond the grave. 

4. let us go ; Tennyson and other mourners now leave 
Hallam's grave, where, in thought at least, they have been 
present since section XXI. , and at which all these thoughts about 
life and death naturally arose to the minds of all, but found 
expression from the lips of one only. 

ii. 1, 2. It is the strength of his love that prompts to this 
arrogant claim surpassing that of the other mourners. Whose 


grief, his or theirs, is stronger ? In many places in this poem we 
see signs of fiercely flaming emotion, the fiercer for being kept 
under stern check. 

3, 4. I fancy for a moment that his memory is enshrined in 
my heart and in these poems, but I shall die and these poems 
will be forgotten. The frame of mind here is one of doubt as to 
the future, which leads to the farewell for ever uttered in st. iv. 

iii. 2. seem ; as the bells of Clevedon Church actually toll 

LVIII. ii. 2. The hearts of the living of other friends of 

iii. 2. fruitless ; that falls and dries up quickly. 

3. here ; on earth. 

4. Erect a more lasting monument, pay a more precious 
tribute, than a passing tear or a farewell for ever : take, not a 
despairing leave for evermore, but one that looks forward with 
hope to a meeting again (in the next world). This is a resolution, 
made as he quits his friend's graveside, to confer immortality, as 
it were, on his poems, by continuing them, so that they will pass 
from their present tone of doubt and desolation into a tone of 
hope and conviction of a future life and future reunion with his 
friend a resolution to continue, like Ulysses, the strenuous 
work of life, instead of saying, with a "fruitless tear," that life 
and work are now over for him. 

LIX. i. 2. The child of this marriage will be the poem In 

ii. 3. harsher ; as sorrow was, when the loss was recent, and 
she talked of hopeless despair. 

4. The chastening effect of sorrow : sorrow joined now to 

iii. 3. to play ; to compose bits of this poem. 

iv. 3, 4. I know thee well to be sorrow, though decked in 
song ; but others will call it affectation of grief, or luxury of 
grief, or the poet's art. 

LX. The inequality here is that between the states of life in 
this world and that in the next ; between the living and the 
happy dead. 

LXI. i. 3. The wise and great in the history of the human 

ii. 4. blanch'd ; like plants that are deprived of light, and lose 
their chlorophyll. 

NOTES. 149 

iii. 1. doubtful shore ; this earth, dimly seen from where you 
now are. 

2. He has now a second form that of a spirit (1. 3). 

4. Shakspeare ; whose society he now enjoys. The Shak- 
speare who wrote those sonnets 011 friendship. 

LXII. i. 1. Your eye looking down from heaven (LXI. ii. 1) 
and seeing how inferior I am now to you. 

2. blench : from so unequal a friendship with an inferior. 

iii. 4. A passing smile at the thought " how could I have fallen 
in love with such a thing ! " 

LXIII. i. 3, 4. High aspirations are quite consistent with 
regard for the lowly, who cannot share in these aspirations. 

ii. 4. And so mayest thou set my pain at ease. 
LXIV. ii. 1. bar ; to his rising, 
iii. 2. golden keys ; of office. 

3. mould ; as minister. 

4. shape ; as privy councillor. 

iv. 2. slope ; a sheer precipice could not be climbed ; hence a 

v. 3. distant ; not the same, not so present, as when he was a 
village boy. 

vi. 1. narrower ; when in his "low estate." 

LXy. i. 1. Give what answer you please to my question. 

ii. 2. phases ; of self -distrust, of feelings of unworthiness. 

LXVI. i. 1. There is an abruptness in his tone whenever he 
addresses anyone who intervenes between him and his thoughts. 
too far ; ever to recover its cheerfulness. 

ii. 3. Has humanized my soul (as Wordsworth put it). 
iv. 1. He makes cat-cradles to amuse them. 

2. dreaming ; for he cannot see it with his " no eyes." 

3. The memory of the days when he could see, cannot fade 

4. always there ; irreparable. 

LXVII. i. 3. The Atlantic or the Bristol Channel. 
4. walls ; of the church within which he lies buried. 

These stanzas weirdly set forth how the two friends, so widely 
separated, still seem to share something in common the moon- 
light ! 


LXVIII. i. 3. Sleep does not know his own brother : i. e. in 
my dreams I think you are alive, while in my waking hours I 
know but too well you are dead. 

ii. 1. I walk ; I dream that I walk. 

2. In the morning of life. 

iii. iv. This is the result of the confusion the dissolving views 
in dreams. 

LXIX. i. 2. ancient power ; of self -renovation : nature is a 

4. The weather is too inclement for them to venture further 

ii. 3, 4. "The crown of thorns" are these poems of grief he 
composes, civic crowns among the Romans were bestowed for 
saving life. Does it mean here that the poet had saved the 
memory of his friend ? 

iii. 3. They ; neighbours. 

iv. 2. I found a comforter in the midst of this darkness of 
the soul. 

4. He ; the third person is used becaiise he does not yet 
recognize him ; the second person is used (LXX. iv. 4) when this 
recognition takes place. 

v. 1. glory of a hand ; the hand of an angel of glory. 

4. He spoke of the happiness of the next life, no doubt : for 
the ears of the living cannot understand such happiness nor 
language about it. 

In these two stanzas, as in others (e.g. LXX. iv.) following 
upon trouble and misery, one seems to listen to the sweet har- 
mony of the poet's own favourite, Beethoven, following in the 
resolution of one of his masterly discords. 

LXX. i. 2, 3. When I try to trace, in the face before me, the 
features of my friend. 

4. Indistinct confused faces, seen in dreams, 
ii. 1, 2. towers ; as of a heaven, gulf, as of a hell. 

3. hand ; the hand of time. 

4. Vague creations of the imagination during sleep. 

iii. 2. drive ; as they do in Dante. Tennyson passes through 
something like hell and purgatory till Hallam's face beams on 
him (like Beatrice's on Dante) from heaven. 

iv. 1. beyond ; there is a strange impotence of the will in our 

3. lattice ; of heaven, the ; my. 

NOTES. 151 

LXXI. i. 2. madness ; for reason sleeps during madness. 

3. night-long ; existing in a dream, of ; out of. 

4. The two friends had actually once travelled together 
through France to the Pyrenees. 

ii. 1. such credit ; such influence as to be able to bring his 
spirit from heaven into my company in a dream. 

3. The indefinable sense of loss that I have even in sleep. 

4. So that, sleeping or waking, I may have him with me (in 
imagination) all the twenty-four hours of the day, and the rest 
of my life so become one unbroken dream, and I never awake to 
a sense of the pain of deprivation. 

iii. Join " talk" (1. 1) to "in walking" (1. 4). 

2. (1) The change that time brings about and that reduces 
everything to dust at last, or (2) the dust or disturbance raised 
by change. 

3. Time that brings about the unexpected. 

LXXIL i. 1. The second anniversary of Hallam's death, 
September 1835. 

3. white ; by turning up the under sides of the leaves, 
ii. 1. crown'd ; with friendship. 

2. Tha't adverse judgment or sentence his premature death. 

4. The very sun seemed to my eyes to become dim. 
iii. 2. quick tears ; heavy fall of rain. 

3. Pull sideways ; droop : a new rendering of Homer's 

iv. 1. windless flame ; sunrise in a calm. 

2. deep East; (1) deep ocean of the East; or (2) deep 
coloured dawn. 

4. the same ; to me : I should be indifferent to the weather, 
rain or sunshine. 

v. 3. The invisible stroke of death, 
vii. 2. thick ; cloudy. 

3. goal ; of sunset. 

LXXIII. i. 1. worlds ; spheres of activity in the next life, 
where the soul passes from world to world, star to star, exercis- 
ing its energies in each. 

2. to be ; yet to be done. 

4. strong ; in intellect, true ; in moral nature. 

ii. 4. Everything that happens, happens in accordance with law. 


iii. 2. A genius, a leader of men, soon loses the following he 
had, and the path he trod is soon obliterated. 

iv. 3, 4. Those energies that on earth might have been directed 
to the welfare of a nation and the ruling of an empire, are now 
concentrated upon the work of self-development in the next 
world. Spirits in heaven do not rest in the enjoyment of a 
stationary state of happiness, but their happiness consists in that 
unceasing upward progress whose aim is to approach ever a little 
nearer to the perfection of God. On earth the reward would 
have been fame, in heaven the reward is self -development. A 
spirit of heaven is a nobler St. Augustine or Goethe ! 

LXXIV. ii. 3, 4. Who are these wise and great ones ? Poets 
or statesmen ? 

iii. 2. No doubt Tennyson does not like to specify the walk of 
life, poetry or statesmanship, in which Hallam's genius might 
have led the way. We have Mr. Gladstone's testimony as to 
what might have been (Life, by Morley, i. 108 ; Gleanings of Past 
Years, ii. 136 sq.). 

4. Genius illumines the earth, when it has had time to 
develop itself : and we may fancy that death, having made 
premature prize of this genius, tries to illume the darkness of 
his realm with it ; and lights this candle within the grave ! 

LXXV. iii. 1. these fading days ; this transitory life on earth. 
3. round ; surround as with an atmosphere. 

iv. 3, 4. The world gives credit to actual performances only, 
and is indifferent to possibilities, to promises cut short. 

LXXVI. i. 4. At an infinite distance in space the universe of 
stars itself must look infinitely small, i.e. will be reduced 
apparently to a point. 

ii. 2. The hidden recesses of future ages. This stanza asks us 
to think of the infinite in space, the next, of the infinite in time, 
and then let us think how small and short-lived all the greatest 
of human performances are in comparison. 

3, 4. The greatest poem man can compose is forgotten 
sooner than a fairly long-lived tree takes to decay. 

iii. 1, 2. And if it is true that Homer, and other early poets, 
are still unforgotten. darkness ; of barbarism, poetry being the 
first civilizer. matin ; when man just began to emerge from 
the night of barbarism. 

iv. 4. towers ; branchless trunks of trees. 

LXXVII. i. 3. Poetry, history, biography ; unless the deeds 
and lives of heroes of epic poetry are meant. 

NOTES. 153 

4. Nearly forgotten in the distance of time. What hope is 
there that modern poetry will fare better ? 

ii. 1. lullabies ; for these " songs " are meant to soothe a 
crying child, to which he has compared himself (see LIV.). 

iii. 3. something else; the calm of the grave, as the "man" 
(1. 1) thinks, but happiness as the poet himself then knows and 

LXXVIIL i. 4. This calm in nature is significant of the calm 
that steals on their minds, as time passes. Compare the calm of 
nature at this Christmas with her aspect last Christmas, and say 
if Tennyson, though he sometimes professes to be a rebel against 
Wordsworth's doctrine, does not, like him, see "harmony be- 
tween man and nature." 

ii. 1. Because just dragged in from outside. 

2. region ; sky : Latin use. 
iii. 3. Tableaux vivants. 

v. 1. There is a sorrow in feeling that we have recovered from 
sorrow ! not because sorrow is a luxury we enjoy, but because 
we feel belittled at its having been so short-lived. 

3, 4. Sorrow does not die within, in the depths of the 
heart ; but only her surface indications, tears, dry up in the 

LXXIX. i. 1. See IX. v. 

2. thee ; the poet's brother, Charles. (Author's note.) 

3. force ; an irresistibly loveable nature. 

4. costliest ; of the finest natures. fee ; possession : i.e. 
the allegiance of friendship. 

iv. 1. Their daily prayers, when little boys, repeated at their 
mother's knee. 

4. It was Alfred's hair that was black, 
v. 2. where ; as ?hown in LXXX. ii. 4. 

LXXX. i. 2. holy ; this epithet shows how, with returning 
calm of mind, his attitude towards death has changed. 

3 kindly ; for it would have been a friendly act. 

4. dust ; of the grave, tearless ; for, dying before him, lie 
would not have to mourn his death. 

ii. 4. Hallam's deep grief would not have rebelled against the 
will of God, nor withdrawn from the fellowship of men, as 
Tennyson's violent grief has. 


iii. 1. picture ; of my friend grieving for my death. 

2. sentence ; sentiment (of grief). 

iv. 1. credit ; the example I believe he would have set in this 
supposed case. 

3. Unused example ; one that has never actually been set : 
the same as " credit " (1. 1). 

LXXXI. i. 1, 2. I wish I could have said that I had enjoyed 
the full fruits of friendship here on earth, during those years he 
was alive ! that our friendship, though short-lived, was perfect ! 

ii. 1. richer store ; from a more prolonged friendship, 
iii. 2. gain ; to thee. 

LXXXIL i. 3. lower life ; worms. 

ii. 3. stalks ; from which the ears of corn have been threshed. 

iii. 2, 4. use . . . profit ; the language of economics. 

3. transplanted ; to some other world. 

4. otherwhere ; as in LXXV. v. 

LXXXIII. i. 1. Dip down; from the equator and equatorial 

2. new-year ; the natural new-year, beginning with the 
youth and ending with the old age, of the year. See "April 
days," ii. 3. 

ii. 1. clouded ; as in April, 
iii. 1. spire ; flowering spikes. 

4. The laburnum, one variety of which is yellow, flowers in 
pendulous racemes. 

LXXXI V. i. 1. contemplate ; accented on the second sj^llable. 
ii. 2. central warmth ; a sun : the head of a family. 
4. all ; children and grandchildren. 

iii. 4. The references to Hallam's betrothed are very rare and 
brief in this poem : it is the reticence, the silent respect, of one 
great grief for another. 

vii. 4. golden hills ; of success (as author or statesman). 

ix. 1. slowly ; and not by a sudden death, worn ; worn out. 

x. 3. strait ; the moment of death separating the two lives, 
this life and the next. 

xi. 1. Arrive ; Milton, too, uses this verb so : it is more 
correct than "arrive at" : the "at" being already expressed by 
the prefix. 

NOTES. 155 

4. single soul ; the Platonic fancy about love : one soul cleft 
in two before birth, and the halves seeking each other on earth, 
and unhappy till re-united. 

xii. 2. backward ; looking back on what might have been. 

LXXXV. i. 1. The recollection of his death and funeral. 

3, 4. The reader will mark for himself the most often quoted 
lines in this poem : these two are, perhaps, the first in that list. 

ii. 1. Lushington, the future husband of one of the poet's 
sisters : their marriage is the subject of the epilogue. 

4. What kind ; does not this grief for the dead wrong the 
living ? 

iv. 4. kindly ; of friendship ; of kinship. 

vi. 1. The angels of knowledge of mediaeval theology. 

3. gate ; of the abode of the blessed. 

vii. 2. Showed him at one view (for that is the nature of the 
intuition of the angels) the fountain-head of all knowledge. 

4. gather; in rivulets flowing from that fountain-head. 
Man's intelligence acquires knowledge in driblets, slowly, pain- 
fully : an intelligence higher than his takes in at a glance, in a 
moment, all that he will thus acquire in the slow course of ages. 

ix. 1. The mutual control of equal on equal : not the control 
of superior on inferior. 

3. A soul clothed in an angel's body. 

x. 2-4. How much the possession of a free will requires inde- 
pendent action on our part, i.e. action uncontrolled by the will 
of another even a friend : (and yet I feel the all-powerful 
influence of my dead friend's spirit upon my actions). 

xi. 4. I follow in the path he trod. 

xii. 3. tenderness ; that comforts the misery of the other's 
mind (xiii. 3). 

4. intellect ; that strengthens the weakness of the other's 
mind (xiii. 2, 4). 

xiv. 1. imaginative woe ; my grief that once took an intel- 
lectual turn, and seemed, for a time, to be seated more in the 
brain than in the heart. 

2. Loved to dwell upon such questions as the conflict 
between spirit and matter, good and evil, and, seemingly 
between God and nature. Tennyson has been discussing these 
questions, and the discussion has had one good effect, as the next 
lines set forth. 


3. Diffused ; and so lessened the intensity of the pangs of 
grief, while it permanently influenced his thoughts upon such 

4. Broke the full force of the blow : otherwise his grief 
might have killed him. 

xv. 1. pulses ; natural emotions. 

4. hopes ; for instance that of becoming a great poet, or of 
contracting a well-placed friendship. 

xvii. 2. Free from fears of its ever being dissolved. 

3. all-assuming ; all-absorbing, all -devouring, 
xix. 4. prime passion ; first friendship. 

xx. 2. The influence of my dead friend is a silent influence, for 
I could not understand his language, if he spoke to me : yet it 
yearns to speak, and my mind divines what he wishes to say. 

xxii. 1. clouds ; for example, the feeling of pain for a friend's 
distress, nature ; human nature on earth. 

2. the free ; the happy dead, free from all feelings of pain. 

4. pain ; my pain, 
xxiii. 3. conclusive ; final. 

4. The final happiness of the next life. 

xxiv. 3. symbols ; of realities : the realities themselves being 
beyond me. 

4. fancy-fed ; with the thought that the dead try to com- 
municate with me. 

xxv. 2. That our separation is temporary. 

2, 3. I shall experience a meeting in some other world, where 
my love shall again meet his. 

xxvi. 1. If with a love as true but not as fresh, as that which 
I feel for him. 

xxvii. 1. hold apart ; monopolize. 

2. golden hours ; of youth, with the world all before 

4. virgin heart ; one that has not known friendship before. 
xxx. 1. imperfect ; of a widowed friendship. 

2. yet ; although it blooms so late. 

3. later ; latter part of ; i.e. autumn. 

In this long section, with masterly art, the poet silences what 
might have been ' thoughtlessly charged against him as inconsis- 
tency in conduct. He does here what he once said he would 

NOTES. 157 

never do ("And unto me no second friend," VI. xi.); but he 
contracts a new friendship, without forfeiting the old ; he takes 
Lushington as his friend, because he thinks that Hallam could 
desire him to do so : and he warns Lushington that all he can 
expect is a remnant. Such conduct is natural and sincere, 
because grief is now less : an opposite conduct, persisting in a 
consistency which can only save appearances, would have been 
affectation, insincerity. 

LXXXVI. i. 4, ii. 1. Clearing the sky of clouds with your 

ii. 3, 4. Passing like a shadow over the bend or reach of a 
river, and raising ripples in it. When a breeze passes over 
smooth water, the sheen of the surface is dimmed, as if a cloud 
were passing over it. horned flood ; the author's note explains 
this as the river ' ' between two promontories " (they being the 
two horns rising above the flood). The scenery here described 
is at Barmouth. 

iii. 2. new life ; due to the new friendship. 

3. doubt and death ; that have hitherto haunted him : these 
are the clouds of i. 4. 

4. fly ; because it is now released from doubt and thoughts 
of death. 

iv. 1, 2. crimson ... odour ; the happiness of a second spring in 
life that this new friendship brings to him in prospect, stream- 
ing far ; and not destined to be short-lived, he hopes, like those 
four years. 

3. orient star ; the rising star of the new friendship. 

4. spirits ; the blest inhabitants of that star : in the allegory, 
the blessings, the happy events, this new friendship is destined 
to teem with. This gorgeous stanza, replete with appeals to the 
senses, may be called the marriage hymn of this new friendship. 
The whole section is but one sentence ! 

LXXXVII. ii. 2. high-buUt ; referring to the tall pipes of the 
lower notes. 

iii. 1. distant ; this may be meant to imply that Tennyson 
and Hallam kept aloof from boat races, etc. (at Eton the latter 
was too delicate for boating) : but the distance merely of this set 
of rooms from the river may be meant. 

4. Bridges are particularized, to give a hint that it was 

iv. 1. flats ; again a hint at the fen country. 

v. 3, 4. The present occupant of Hallam's rooms is evidently 
not of the reading set. How different the things that go on in 
those rooms now from what they used to be before ! 


vi. 2-4. Philosophy, fine -arts and literature, economics and 
commerce, political and social science, framework ; social and 
political edifice. 

vii. 3. Speak not quite beside the mark. 
4. Speak more close to the mark. 

viii. 2. Hallam would hit the mark speak fully and exactly 
to the point. 

3. Who but hung ; who was present who did not eagerly 
wait, for our chief object in attending was to hear him speak. 

ix. 2. Flowing oratory, but always joined to sense and reason. 

3. when ; in drawing which. 

4. The God ; the power of genius. 

x. 4. The full projecting ridge at the base of the forehead, 
over the eyebrows, such as Angelo's portraits show him to have 

LXXXVIII. i. 1. bird ; the nightingale. 

2. quicks ; quick-set hedges. 

3, 4. senses . . . passions ; grief and joy. meet ; a state of 
mind in which both grief and joy are felt at the same time, and 
spread to other minds around. 

ii. 2. darkening ; as evening comes on. 
iii. 1. I should wish to be sad. 

2. I cannot completely command the strings, so as to strike 
out of them notes of unmingled joy or unmingled grief ; but, in 
spite of myself, notes of mingled joy and grief confusedly break 

3. The effect of this confused music on the whole leans to 
joy arising from mingled feelings of my first friendship, its cruel 
termination, the hope of its renewal in a better world, and, 
lastly, this new friendship on earth. 

LXXXIX. i. 2. this ; the poet is back to his home at Somersby. 
ii. 3. liberal air ; free country air. 
iii. 1. for ; that could enjoy. 

3, 4. Hallam was a member of one of the Inns of Court at 
the time. 

iv. 4. winking ; the shimmer of the air near the ground in hot 

vi. 4. Tuscan ; the literary dialect of Italian : Dante and 
Petrarch are meant, besides others. 

NOTES. 159 

vii. 2. happy ; because engaged to Hallain. 
viii. 4. banquet ; a picnic, 
ix. 3. changes ; e.g. in the ministry. 
4. Read a dialogue of Plato. 

x. 4. Life in town does more than in the country to rub off 
individuality and what are called idiosyncrasies : men and 
women become too much of the same pattern, and both, alike, 

xi. 2. Variety and individuality in character. This new 
creature of art, the man or woman of society, is not picturesque 
as the child of nature is. The former is machine-made, factory- 
made ("mill," x. 3), the latter hand-made, as it were no two 
exactly alike. 

xii. 1. glooming ; towards evening. 

2. afar ; from the picnic excursion. 

3. crimson ; a star near the horizon, shortly after sunset, 
would have this tinge : a planet is here meant Venus, because 
of the feminine. 

4. father's grave ; the west where the sun has set a short 
while ago. The masses of the planets, according to the nebular 
theory, were thrown off from the body of the sun ; and, hence, 
they are his sons and daughters. 

xiii. 2. veil ; as it shut out the cowshed from view. 

XC. i. 1. He ; what cynic uttered this sentiment ? 

3. Friendship is the nearest resemblance on earth to life in 
the next world. 

4. This cynical sentiment, as tares among wheat, 
ii. 4. iron ; cold and hard-hearted. 

iii. 3. here ; back to life : little thinking they might take them 
at their word. 

iv. 3. hard ; tenacious of grip over his rights to his late father's 

4. for a day ; to the father (if he were to come back to life) 
from whom he inherited them. 

v. 1. none of these ; not so hard-hearted as these above. 
3. Confusion ; in his family, if he came back to life. 

vi. 1. but; either (1) though he too has consoled himself (by 
taking to himself another friend), he will not behave like those 
described above ; or (2) only, whatever others may feel towards 
the dead if they come back to them. 


3. lonely ; that no eye sees ; in the secretest corner of his 

XCI. i. 2. mounted ; as contrasted with the low-flying king- 
fisher of 1. 4. 

ii. 2. Your mind such as I knew it at college, and in private 
life. - in time ; as opposed to eternity. This was the spring-time 
of Hallam's life. 

3, 4. Appear again with that ample forehead and clear eyes, 
that roused hopes disappointed on earth (but, no doubt, now 
being realized in the next world). 

iv. 1. Not as ghosts do : Hamlet's father's, for instance. 

3. after form ; body of a spirit of the next world. This is 
now the summer of Hallam's life. 

4. In an angel's form, brighter than the light of day. 
Milton's angels are such. 

XCII. i. 1. vision ; any shape visible to the eyes of the body. 

2. vain ; an illusion, 
ii. 1. Occurrences known only to us two. 

4. I should say it was only my own recollections, and not 
due to my friend's presence. 

iv. 1. They ; such phantom-warnings. 

2. spiritual ; of my own spirit. 

3, 4. Shadows of coming events cast before. The effect of 
refraction shows the heavenly bodies above the horizon, when 
they are still slightly below it. 

XCIII. i. 1. dare ; for we know nothing for certain in all this. 
ii. 1. visual ; perceptible to the senses : visible. 

3. When the senses perceive nothing, 
iii. 1. That invisible region where you now dwell. 

3. abyss ; that separates this life from the next. 

4. change (from earthly to heavenly state) of which we 
know nothing : which is too complex for us to understand : hence 
our crude notions about ghosts and angels. Who knows what 
and how many changes man, body and soul undergoes after 
death? Perhaps he passes through ten heavens, such as Dante 
describes in the Paradiso. 

iv. 3. My spirit, darkened in the flesh. 

XCIV. i. Like the pure in heart, who, Scripture says, shall 
see God ; or like Sir Galahad who, in romance, alone sees the 

NOTES. 161 

ii. 1. thou ; reader. 

2. golden day ; the light of heaven. 
4. all ; God and man. 

iii. 4. A clear conscience as regards the past. Conscience may 
be distinguished from memory in 1. 3 by making the former the 
moral faculty, the latter only one of the intellectual faculties, 
like another here mentioned, the imagination (1. 2). 

iv. 3. They ; these spirits of heaven, revisiting earth, do not 
enter such a house, i.e. such an unclean breast, as they enter one 
that is swept and garnished (st. iii.). 

4. household jar ; the discord that reigns within such an 
unclean breast. 

XCV. i. 4. silvery ; the moon was up. 

iii. 2. lit ; alighted on the tapers or near them. 

4. Some sort of moth, 
v. 3. In the different bed-rooms as each retired to rest. 

vi. 1. hunger ; for the company of the dead friend, that the 
living friends could never satisfy. 

2. glad year; happy years of friendship. "Year "here is 
the poet's whole term of life : " glad year " is the happy portion 
of that life the glad part oi the year. 

3. fallen leaves ; letters written by one now dead, fallen ; 
because the hand that wrote these letters is now numb in death. 
green ; because the letters still retain all their original living 
power over me. 

vii. 2. silent-speaking ; for he read the letters to himself, not 

3. No change could change his worth. 

viii. 1, 2. True faith is quite consistent with bold inquiry into 

3. wordy snares ; of theology, or rather the abuse of it. 

4. Evolve the clear full truth from a mere hint ; penetrate 
to the core of truth through the husk and shell. 

ix. 2. the past ; when he was alive. 

4. soul ; " The Deity, may be " is the author's note : which 
adds, " I have often had that feeling of being whirled up and rapt 
into the Great Soul." 

x. 1. whirl'd ; like Elijah. 

3. which is ; and not merely seems. Our spirit, freed from 
the body (as the poet's now is), can alone perceive the essence, 



the core, of this universe : our spirits, chained within the body, 
can only perceive its form, its shell, through the delusion of the 
senses : the world, seen in the spirit, is the reality ; the world, 
seen through the senses, is an illusion. 

4. The inner throb of life in the universe : the senses, on 
the other hand, can only see the outer face of things in the 

xi. 1. Ionian ; see note XXXV. iii. 3. music ; resolving into 
harmony that discord that the senses see in the world. 

1-3. To the senses time seems now to creep, now to fly ; 
chance seems to work violent changes, as the whim takes it ; 
death seems to deal his strokes on the wrong lives, so that all 
three seem to produce much discord and confusion in this 
world ; to the spirit, time, chance (or what we call so), and 
death all work in subjection to a supreme law, whose aim is to 
maintain the harmony and order of God's universe. This is the 
" music measuring out " of 1. 1. 

4. doubt ; doubt as to whether all this harmony and order 
and law existed, came back as he began to recover from his 

xii. 1. My description of what I perceived in the spirit is 

2. In concrete human speech, that consists of material 
sounds or material writing, and can express ideas of material 
existence only, and not ideas of things spiritual. 

3. Such thoughts that the mind can frame, but the tongue 
cannot adequately express through speech. 

4. became ; in that trance. 

xiii. 1. This is the twilight of dawn. 

2-4. The repetition from st. iv. is meant to show that his 
mind comes back to its actual earthly surroundings. 

xiv. 4. still ; as it was when there was no wind, 
xv. 3. heavy-folded ; many petalled. 

xvi. If this night was full moon or near it, then, when the sun 
was rising the moon was setting : if not, then the light of dawn 
was reflected in the west. If the former, then the poet may 
have meant this allegory : east and west, i.e. the rising sun and 
the setting moon, i.e. waxing faith and waning doubt, typified 
the state of my mind, in which both were mingled when I awoke 
from my trance. 

3. life ; typified by the rising sun. death ; typified by the 
sinking moon. In these two words, there is an obvious allusion 
to his trance and his waking from it ; though, to be in keeping 
with his allegoTy, it is the trance that was the life, and the 

NOTES. 163 

waking the death. The passage from night to day typifies the 
passage from this life, with its faith mingled with doubt to 
the next life, with its faith freed from doubt. 

4. The eternity of the next life, into which limited life on 
this earth expands, and in which faith will finally vanquish 

XCVI. i. 1. You ; very likely, this is the future bride, whose 
marriage tour is referred to in XCVIII. The playful tone of the 
address definitely precludes its application to anyone whose mind 
was charged with grief, and it seems natural to take these two 
sections as addressed to the same person. 

2. Sweet-hearted ; not merely as a bride should be, but not 
embittered by doubt. 

4. And faith is heaven-born : so that no good man can ever 
harbour doubt. 

ii. 1. one ; Hallam. There is no reason to think that his mind 
did not pass through such a stage. 

3. jarring ; with doubt in matters of faith. 

4. true ; in unison, in harmonj', with faith. 

iii. 1. Want of faith is often the cause or the effect of impurity 
in life, and, worse, it is too often made the pretext and even 
justification for impurity. 

2. Evolved the music of faith out of the discord of scepticism. 
4. creeds ; which dogmatically forbid all doubt. 

iv. 2. blind ; by shutting his eyes to doubt, when it stares him 
in the face. 

3. spectres ; for doubt, as opposed to truth, in religion 
corresponds to no real existence in the moral world. 

v. 1. stronger ; than it would have been without this struggle 
with and victory over doubt. 

2. Power ; of God. night ; of doubt. The power of God 
was with Hallam, in the dark hours of his doubt ; he was not 

3. Raises doubts and solves them, light ; of faith. 

4. light alone ; faith that has never felt doubt, 
vi. 1. Supply "dwells" after "But." 

2. True faith is enveloped with doubt, even as God was 
hidden in a cloud on Sinai. Exodus, xix. 1&, 

3. gods of gold ; falsehoods : the golden calf. 

4. trumpet ; of truth. 

Every powerful intellect grapples with this question of scep- 
ticism, and the greatest names in the church itself have been of 


those who have so grappled and overcome. If the reference was 
not to Hallam one whole section would not have been devoted to 
this subject. 

XCVII. The comparison is between a husband and wife and 
the spirit of Hallam in the next world and that of Tennyson in 
this. The former has knowledge, for he sees the things of the 
next world face to face, the latter has faith in what he knows 
not yet. The former " sits apart," for death has separated the 
two; he is "rapt in matters deep and dark" and "knows a 
thousand things," for he has solved the mysteries of the next 
life; the latter "knows but matters of the house," for he has 
still to attend to the daily duties of life on earth : he feels his 
friend is "great and wise " in his knowledge of those mysteries, 
but does not understand them himself. Yet the old love of the 
days on earth between the two has never passed away. 

i. 1. love ; his friendship, personified, talked ; after the 
fashion of Orpheus and Orlando ; and, no doubt, the rocks and 
trees have responded sympathetically. 

3. shadow ; like the Brocken of the Harz. glory crown'd ; 
in the next life, when he hopes to enjoy the fulness of love, such 
as angels feel. 

4. All nature seems to be one great reflection, one great 
echo, of the all-absorbing passion of his own breast love. 

ii. This, coming between the references in XCVI. and XCVIII. , 
may naturally be taken as a reference to a coming union : if .so, 
it is counsel to the young bride, not to think that wide differences 
between husband and wife in powers of intellect, or in tastes and 
pursuits if such there needs must be can or should make any 
difference to the love between them. This intellectual gulf, for 
instance, 'is wider here in India than in Europe. 

2. thee ; Hallam. Even this coming marriage seems, by a 
sort of all-absorbing selfishness, to be nothing more than a mere 
echo of the relation between the poet still on earth and his dead 
friend in the next world. Hallam is the husband and Tennyson 
the wife. 

3. Because this is a relation between spirit and spirit (mine 
and his) ; and the relationship cannot be put in more definite 
language, so as to be intelligible to earthly minds, than this 
language of an earthly relationship (of husband and wife). 

iii. The use of the past tense looks back from the future 
upon what might happen after some years of married life ; if 
the reference at all is to a coming union, rather than to one that 
has already taken place. 

iv. 2- The days of courtship. 

NOTES. 165 

3. yet ; now that they think apart, think differently from 
each other. 

4. The faithless say, love of heart cannot survive change of 
mind change in ways of thinking. 

v. 1, 2. Because now they think apart the intellectual bond 
is snapped : but the bond of love still holds. 

3. matters ; e.g. those of vi. 1-3, or the question between 
doubt and faith. 

4. seems ; but does not. simple ; in faith, 
vi. 1,2. Mental science and astronomy. 

3. So near to her, and yet far away among the stars ! 

4. thinks ; in the faith of her simple heart. 

vii. 1. gift ; it is only a violet : a gift of money- value would 
have spoilt, or thrown suspicion on, the sentiment, years ; of 

3. what ; for she does not understand these matters. 

viii. 3, 4. The language is the language of such a wife's 
thoughts : she cannot think more definitely than this. 

ix. 1. faith ; in his greatness, although her knowledge of that 
greatness of what it consists in is very vague. 

Contrast the sweet simplicity of this section with the soaring 
or profound thought of many a section, and judge how wide was 
the range of Tennyson's powers. 

XCVIII. i. In the Memoir (i. 148) this is said to be an allusion 
to Charles Tennyson's marriage tour on the Rhine in 1836. 
This, then, is another certainly fixed date between the two 
mentioned in the note to XXVIII. i. , and is another proof of the 
chronological arrangement of the sections set forth in the note 
to XXX. iv. But the author's note says the "you" here is 

3. In 1832. 

ii. 2. That City ; there is a fierce emphasis on these words and 
on Vienna in iii. 4; they plainly read or speH out "the 

3. The gleam of death's eye is the will o' the wisp that 
allures us to the river of death. 

iv. 2, 3. What everywhere else are looked upon as blessings, 
seem to have a curse hanging over them in Vienna. This is the 
accusation of recrudescing grief : and we need not search the 
statistics of infant or other mortality in Vienna to verify it. 
There are references, in "friend," "bridal," "fathers," to the 
loss suffered by Tennyson himself, his sister and his friend's 


father. "Births" refers to the lai?ge number of births among 
those living in sin in that (as in any other great) city. 

4. wants ; not the misery of the poor, but the luxury of the 
rich, in Vienna : the wants are the fanciful artificial wants of 
civilized life. 

v. 2. cold ; the love of outdoor life in the Viennese destroys 
their domestic happiness. The sense of loss makes the poet too 
severe in his view of Viennese life. 

3. The relations of Austria with Napoleon : such as the 
marriage of Maria Louisa, Francis II. 's abdication of the title of 
Holy Roman Emperor, and the humiliation of the House of 

vi. 1. mother town ; metropolis. 

4. park ; the Prater, which is the Hyde Park and Rotten 
Row of Vienna, brown ; shade : Miltonic use. 

vii. 1. content ; the bonhomie of the Viennese. 

4. The genial climate permits of this out-door life, 
viii. 2-4. Their love for dancing and music and fireworks. 

XCIX. ii. 1. darkling red; the "dim dawn" of i. 1 : the 
anniversary of Hallam's death. 

4. For I and Hallam often resorted to them, 
iii. 1. foliaged ; in vine or ivy. 

2. song ; the sounds of nature in autumn, care ; of approach- 
ing winter. 

v. 2. slumber ; (1) in ice and cold, (2) the absence of percep- 
tible motion, the poles being nearly fixed. Betwixt ; from pole 
to pole. 

3. For on this day they, too, lost a dear one. None but a 
strongly imaginative mind could find consolation from the thought 
of the sympathy of the myriads of utter strangers, out of the popu- 
lation of the whole earth, who daily lose a dear one. " Myriads " 
in iv. 4, in any but an indefinite sense, is an understatement, if 
we think of the number of daily deaths over the whole earth, and 
thence infer the number of mourners. 

C. i. 1. hill ; beyond which they had their picnic, in LXXXIX 
ii. 2. The fen country of Lincolnshire. 

iii. 2. latest ; when they have disappeared from other places, 
v. 2. kindlier ; happier than to-day. 

CI. This and the two following sections refer to the removal 
of the Tennysons from Somersby. 

NOTES. 167 

i. Unwatch'd . . . unloved ; as often watched and loved by me. 

4. burn . . . away ; make itself bare of its fiery-red leaves, 
ii. 4. spice ; is this honey or fragrance ? 
iv. 2. The fen country again. 

3. Streaks of moonlight : Diana's arrows in ancient 

v. 2. fresh : in the minds of the new occupants. 
vi. 2. glebe ; the cultivable land attached to the parsonage. 
3. our ; of the Tennysons. 

OIL ii. 3. diverse love ; for one is love for the home of his child- 
hood : the other, love for the house where he had often met his 
friend. It was not the death of the poet's father that necessi- 
tated their vacating the rectory : he had died in 1831. 

iii. 2. matin ; of the morning of life : of childhood. 

3. The nightingale's song. 

iv. 2. after ; of youth and manhood. 

v. 3. losing game ; for neither love will succeed iii retaining me 
hero longer. 

vi. 3. The two loves, personified, embrace and weep. 

4. pure ; all feeling of rivalry gone. 

GUI. i. 4. after-morn ; next morning when they vacated the 

ii. 1. hall ; the temple of human thought. 

2. maidens ; the muses of Parnassus, transformed into the 
muses of modern thought, as explained in iii. 2, 3. hills ; the 
source, undiscovered by men, whence man's life on earth is 

4. river ; of man's life on earth, 
iii. 1. This is the occupation of the muses. 

2. sang ; the sciences and arts mentioned below may form 
the subject of poetry are capable of poetic treatment. This 
poem itself is an illustration. 

2, 3. wise ; in intellect : the physical and mental sciences. 
good ; in conduct : the moral sciences, graceful ; in taste : the 
fine arts. 

4. veil'd ; with the veil that is thrown between the living 
and the dead. 

iv. 1. They sang to Hallam's spirit, for he excelled in all 


3. dove ; such too was God's messenger in the Bible. 

4. sea ; the next world, summons ; for me to go : the 
summons was a gentle one, to judge by the messenger that 
served it ; and ample time was allowed before it was to be 
obeyed, to judge by what follows. 

v. 3. shallop ; the small commencements of the poet's career. 

vi. 4. iris ; the vivid colours of poetry, golden reed ; on 
which the poet is to pipe his " golden " songs : for true poetry is 

vii. 1. As the poet advanced in life. 

3, 4. He watched the growth of modern thought in Europe. 
But we must not press the incidents of the dream too hard, to 
get an allegorical meaning in every one of them. 

viii. 1. apart ; taking no part in this work of general intel- 
lectual progress ; for my heart was still lonely. (This actually 
happened to Tennyson.) 

2. I felt the silent growth of poetic powers within me. 

3. Anakim ; giants mentioned in Scripture. 

4. Titan's ; Prometheus's, for instance. Tennyson must 
have silently taken measure of his strength. For instance, he 
must have felt that, great as Wordsworth was, he could take 
his place by his side. 

ix. The progress of modern thought in Europe ; nineteenth 
century ideas. 

1. Universal peace. This muse is entirely modern, there 
being no muse of Parnassus corresponding to her. 

2, 3. All nations of earth to be one nation ; all empires, one 
empire ; all languages, one language. Tennyson's large-hearted 
patriotism cannot be here supposed to refer to any particular 
race. This muse is a modern Clio. 

4. For example, a theory of the material universe that will 
supersede the nebular theory. This muse is a modern Urania. 
Tennyson refers to great problems that still await solution, from 
men of genius, in the future : problems like (a) the extinction of 
war and a reign of universal peace ; (6) the elevation of the feel- 
ing of patriotism into the still nobler one of humanity, and the 
formation of one nation out of the one human race ; (c) the origin 
of the material universe. Common sense smiles at the thought 
of a solution, and not even a poet dares to sing of it, except in a 

x. 4. ship ; no doubt a confused recollection, in dream, of the 
ship that brought Hallam's remains to his native land. 

NOTES. 169 

xi. 1. man ; Hallam, alive. 

2. Because no longer human. 

xii. 1, 2. Another struggle between two loves : the love for 
poetry and the love for his friend. They complain that the 
poet, in his love for his friend, has forgotten his love for the 

xiii. 3. Enter ; an echo of Scripture language. 

3. 4. So, at Tennyson's death, and reunion with Hailam in 
the next world, the muses are also received into that world. 
What does it mean? Perhaps, that in the next world, too, the 
cultivation of poetry and the arts all that makes life beautiful 
on earth is not disallowed ; so that these two friends will 
resume and continue there that pursuit so congenial to both, and 
so cruelly cut short, here on earth. 

xiv. 3, 4. cloud ; that surrounds the glory of heaven, lying low 
on the horizon in the distance. 

The reader need hardly be asked to place this section by the 
side of XII. and others, noticed before. There is an awe-inspir- 
ing beauty about this great man's poetry, as there is said to have 
been about his face. 

CIV. ii. 4. Not the church bells of his native village. They 
are now in their new home in Epping Forest, Essex. 

iii. 1. strangers' ; having no old associations. 

CV. ii. 1, 2. The Rev. George Tennyson had died in 1831, and 
had been buried at Somersby. 

iii. 3. place ; the old home where, from childhood, they had 
been accustomed to celebrate Christmas so. 

4. We no longer care to celebrate Christmas, in the old 
fashion, in a new home, dying ; going out of fashion. 

v. 1, See note on I. iii. 4. 

vi. 3. motion ; the twinkling light of stars. 

vii. Natural scenery having a symbolic meaning. 

1. rising worlds ; rising stars, and new worlds of hope to the 
poet, wood ; Epping Forest, and the gloomy wood of grief he 
has passed through. 

2. The seed of the summer of hope has slept long during the 
winter of grief. 

3, 4. Let your months roll on, O revolving year of my life, 
to joyous summer and rich autumn, and so let my long grief give 
birth to rich hope. 


CVI. ii. 4. The false and the true, as enumerated below, 
iii. 1. saps ; herein lies the falsehood of their grief. 

2. here ; implying that we shall see them elsewhere. 

3. The class called the poor exist because the class called 
the rich exist, and when the latter cease to exist under a more 
equitable distribution of wealth, the former will also cease to 
exist ; none will have too much and none too little, but all will 
have enough and a little to spare. 

4. all ; and not merely of classes and class grievances. 
iv. 1. dying ; because it is effete, has out-lived its time. 

2. As in English politics, where, too often, men strive for 
party, not for the nation. 

3. nobler ; not based on vulgar distinctions, such as those of 
wealth or blood. 

4. Manners dictated by the heart and not by the conventions 
of society, and laws meant to promote, not party interests, but 
the general good. 

v. 2. coldness ; absence of true friendship. 

4. "Rhymes of joy and hope, 
vi. 2. Society talk and social "amenities." 

vii. 1. old shapes ; diseases which used to be common : for 
instance, the plague and leprosy, formerly in Europe, and 
these and cholera, even nowadays, in the East. Diseases like 
these are old enemies of man. 

4. This would be a true millennium, 
viii. 2. kindlier ; readier to help than to injure. 
4. The same meaning as in vii. 4. 

CVII. i. 1. February 1st (1811). The celebration of a birth- 
day, instead of a deathday, anniversary is significant of the 
change in the poet's mind from grief towards recovered happiness. 

ii. 4. Makes icicles that give the eaves a jagged appearance, 
iii. 2. hard ; sharply defined in the clear frosty air. 

3. grides ; this word does not seem to have taken root in 

4. ribs ; branches below, horns ; branches and twigs aloft, 
bare of leaves, iron; (1) same as "hard," 1. 2; or (2) frozen hard. 

iv. 1. drifts ; drifting clouds (drifting out to sea). 
3. breaks ; breaks upon. 

vi. 3. whate'er ; " though he is a spirit : but what is a spirit ?" 
What a change in the mind that can now speak so carelessly 

NOTES. 171 

about spirits, but that once entered so deeply into speculations 
as to their nature and destiny ! 

CVIII. i. 1-3. Grief has at last humanized his soul. 

3. alone ; without seeking for sympathy from the living. 

4. To feed the wind with sighs is a piece of superfluity ; for 
sighs are wind. 

ii. 1. barren ; producing no fruit of good works. 

2. vacant ; after something, I know not what. 

3, 4. To speculate about heaven and hell, or what are 
called so. 

iii. 1, 2. What I say about the next world is not a true 
description of it, but only a product of my own fancy. 

3, 4. And what I say about Hallam and his life in the next 
world is only a reflection of what I knew about him here on 
earth, only a little glorified by my imagination : when I say I 
see the face he now wears there, I merely draw the face he wore 
here, with touches added from my fancy. 

iv. 4. Whatever ; there is an unmistakeably careless tone about 
this word here, and in CVTL vi. 3. wisdom ; such as he might 
have imparted to me had he lived, sleep ; and so is lost to me. 

CIX. i. 1. Outpourings of the heart. 

2. His talk on family matters, fountains ; domestic incidents 
from which the subject matter of such talk arises. Hallam was 
not above talk on such subjects. 

3. His talk on poetry and the fine arts. 

ii. 1. Seraphic; according to the mediaeval "hierarchy" this 
should be ' ' cherubic " : the seraphs being angels of love, not of 
knowledge : but this distinction has long passed away. 

2. As if in intellectual wrestling. 

3. Like Burke's : close reasoning joined to fiery emotion, in 
the cause of truth and justice. 

4. The listener could not follow, so rapid was his delivery. 

iii. 2. ascetic ; his was not a nature that hatred of evil made 
to withdraw from an evil world, instead of grappling with it : 
while loving good, and hating evil, he enjoyed life in the world. 

4. April blood ; season of youth, 
iv. 2, 3. Freedom enjoyed under a constitutional monarchy. 

3, 4. The Jacobins and Red Republicans of the French 
revolutions may, in their excesses, be called "schoolboys." 


vi. i. have been ; Latin fuerunt. thee ; as made up of these 

2. in vain ; without profiting by your example. 

3, 4. I who survive and did not profit by your wisdom. 

CX. ii. 2. disarm'd ; because you had no pride to confront 

3, 4. The venomous tongue of slander. 

iv. 4. tact ; in the management of men ; the first quality in a 
born ruler of men. Christian ; not Machiavellian. 

v. 4. The will to imitate what it loves. 

CXI. i. 3. golden ball ; the symbol at the end of a sceptre or 
held in the hand of kings in pictures. 

ii. 4. pale ; that an unbroken colt breaks through, gilded ; of 
fashionable society. 

iii. 1. act ; a part : what he is not. 

4. He showed less than he felt, and yet he showed so much ! 
gentleness ; qualities of a gentleman. 

iv. 4. native ; nothing assumed, all natural. 

v. 3. Made him lower his eyes in guilty consciousness of 
harbouring such feelings or thoughts. 
4. The divine serenity of his eyes. 

CXII. i. 1. high wisdom ; ironical : wisdom that judges of 
merit by actual performance : that takes nothing upon trust, as 
opposed to my lower wisdom, that is inclined to give this sort of 

2. temperate ; because, looking with indulgent eyes, I fail 
to notice the ' ' insufficiencies. " 

3. glorious ; of genius, e.g. genius that excels in every noble 
walk of life, insufficiencies ; much promise, but little or no 
actual performance : genius nipped in the bud : possibilities 
never realized. 

4. Set light by ; underestimate : think little of : look with 
severe eyes upon, narrower; of talent: e.g. talent as a specialist 
in some particular walk in life, perfectness ; talent that has had 
full scope to develop itself in its own special narrow walk : 
talent, full blown. My "wisdom" lies in my not under- 
estimating "glorious insufficiencies"; but I make that wisdom 
"less" by underestimating "narrower perfectness." [Now the 
crux is this : Is or is not Hallam included among the "glorious 
insufficiencies"? Those who think he is not, take "insufficiencies" 
to mean the inequalities of genius, very great in one direction, 
very deficient in others ; and they make a third class that of 

NOTES. 173 

"glorious perfectness," and place Hallam in that class. Those 
who think he is so included, because there seem to be two, not 
three, such classes meant in the text, take "insufficiencies" 
in the sense given above.] 

ii. 1. But ; implies that in other cases these two classes would 
be equally balanced in my estimation ; because, in the case of the 
former, though their promise was greater, death cut it short, so 
that they performed little or nothing ; and in the case of the 
latter, though their promise was less, they performed it all. But 
in Hallam's case, who belonged to the first of these two classes, I 
estimate him higher than any of the second class. Why? Because 
my love for him turns the scale. And why do I love him ? 
Because of the powers enumerated below in st. iii. 

4. lesser ; than Hallam, in my estimation, lords of doom ; 
those who have triumphed over fate, and in the course of a long 
and successful life have accomplished much : as opposed to 
Hallam, who was the victim of doom who was cut off by fate 
before he could accomplish much, but whom I yet think to be 
greater than these. The construction of the line in this case 
would be " the lords of doom (but yet) lesser (than he) " : and he 
would be contrasted to these "lords" as a "victim." The 
author's note gives a different meaning : " Those that have free 
will but less intellect": i.e. lesser men than Hallam. In this 
case "lords of doom" is a general term for all men, including 

iii. 1. For what wert thou? estimated by my standard of 
glorious, but unfulfilled possibilities. Stanzas iii., iv. set forth 
these possibilities. [It is the loss of all this that might have 
been, but never was, that makes Tennyson underestimate the 
actual performances of English statesmen of the time. We have 
Mr. Gladstone's testimony that Hallam was the coming man 
among his contemporaries.] novel power; power of mind 
hitherto unknown, unexpected. 

2. touch ; of inspiration : the sudden display of unexpected 
power as occasion arose, is meant. 

3. hope ; the hope is set forth in the next stanza. 

iv. 1. The interests of a whole nation co-ordinated; as the four 
elements build up this earth. 

2. calm ; like that in the centre of a cyclone, tempest ; 
political tempests. 

3. Measures of reform that affect the interests and passions 
of a whole nation, so carried out as to be willingly submitted to 
by that nation. As the tides of the oceans follow and obey the 
moon, so the passions and self-interest of the ruled submit to 
the will and judgment of such a ruler, thought ; the wisdom of 
the statesman and political thinker. 


CXIII. i. 4. seasons ; of political storm or calm, as they may 
rise in the future of England ; crises in future English history. 

iii. 2. highest mission ; to rule an empire, sent ; from heaven. 
Hallam may have been a second "heaven-born minister": the 
early maturity of his powers, like Pitt's, justifies this expectation. 

iv. 1. licensed boldness ; Chartism, for example. 

2. When opportunity offers. 

3. lever ; like that of Archimedes. 

4. Should an attempt be made to alter the monarchy of 
England into a republic. 

v. 2. agonies ; struggles : Greek sense. 

4. The struggle between established order and revolution. 

CXIV. i. 4. pillars ; like those of Hercules : " thus far and no 

ii. 1. Her forehead is not serene like that of wisdom. 

2. acts ; like a flint, forward ; bold ; for she has no 
" reverence " : her eyes ever look forward, never upward. 

3. chance ; of life, of success. 

4. The aim of knowledge is low : it makes everything sub- 
serve the gratification of the passions : such as those for wealth, 
power, fame. 

iii. 1. Half-grown ; for what we know is only half of what we 
do not, but yet may, know. Newton put it still more modestly ; 
but the two halves here are the knowledge of the things of this 
life and of the next. 

2. She is afraid of the grave, because she does not know what 
is beyond it : i.e. knowledge is helpless to aid us to conquer the 
fear of death. 

3. Knowledge, in its own nature, can have no love, for love 
is not of the intellect, and knowledge is all of the intellect : so, 
too, she can have no faith, for faith in its nature is a confession 
of ignorance, since she believes what she cannot know. But 
knowledge, if wise, may submit to both. 

4. wild Pallas ; false or pseudo-wisdom ; as knowledge 
becomes if divorced from love and faith. 

iv. 1. Demons ; while wisdom was born out of the head of a 
god, even among the heathen. (Pallas out of the head of Zeus. ) 

3. power ; this is one of the lusts of knowledge, 
v. 1. Must subdue her wildness (iii. 4). 
vi. 3. goal ; of wisdom, 

NOTES. 175 

vii. 1. grew ; in wisdom as rapidly as you did. 

4. reverence ; same as faith, charity ; same as love, in iii. 3. 

CXV. i. 2. burgeon ; bud. Tennyson tries to revive this word 
from its use in the seventeenth century. 

ii. 4. sightless ; invisible : Shaksperean use. 
iv. 2. greening ; shining, green, viridescent. 
v. 3. violet ; the colour of 7ta(/"-mourning. 

CXVI. i. 1 . buried time ; winter : here memories of past grief 
for the dead. 

3. gives and takes ; tinges with its own sadness the early 
spring, and is tinged by the joy of that spring. 

ii. 1. stirring; alive (e.g. with its own motion, and with the 
fragrance of flowers and the song of birds). 

2. The insect world, re-orient ; rising again, reviving. 

4. The goodness and love of God. 

iv. Than for the renewal of our friendship in the next world. 

CXVII. i. 4. fuller ; because deferred : interest has been accru- 
ing, as it were, which he hopes to draw. 

iii. 1. In the hour-glass. 

2. On the sundial. 

3. In a clock. 

4. Time as measured by the stars. 

i.-iii. Every minute and hour and year of delay, will be 
compensated for, to me, by a hundredfold. 

CXVIII. i. 2. youth ; limited time, however old or long, 
must be always young, compared with the hoary age of eternity. 
4. earth and lime ; perishable matter ; flesh and bone : the 
latter containing much lime or calcium. 

iii. 2. seeming-random ; but really guided by Providence, 
forms ; as nebulae, without any definite shape. 

3. cyclic ; either (1) cyclonic, or (2) occurring in cycles. 
Both meanings are applicable : for instance, sun spots are 
cyclonic storms that reach a maximum every eleven years : but 
the second meaning is more appropriate here. 

4. at the last ; the poet thinks it is not necessary here to 
mention the brute animate creation that preceded man's creation. 
the man ; the raee of man. 

iv. 2. Savage man was the predecessor of civilized man. 


3. Man on earth is the predecessor of man in the next world, 
in the rising scale of intelligence and purity. 

4. If man is a microcosm, and, in his own inward progress 
from lower to higher, typifies the rising scale of the brute and 
inanimate worlds. 

v. 1. Both the nature of man and that of the brute and 
inanimate worlds advance from lower to higher : as the shapeless 
nebula becomes a shaped star, the simple organism of an amoeba 
becomes, successively, the more and more complex organisms of 
a mollusc and a vertebrate ; so, from the man-brute is evolved 
the man, and from the man is evolved the higher man of the next 
world. And as the beautiful world of stars was formed after 
ages of violent perturbations in the shapeless masses of their 
parent nebulae, so the beauty of man's character is formed after 
trial and suffering. No objection need be taken to the use of 
the word " evolved " above. (See note on vii. 4.) 

2. Trial and suffering is the crown of life on earth for man ; 
just as the convulsions of nature are the necessary condition of 
her beauty. (See iii. 3.) 

4. idle ; lying useless in the mine. 

vi. The reader need hardly be reminded of Longfellow's poem, 
that works out the same metaphor. 

3. The tempering of steel. 

4. batter'd ; as with a hammer. 

vii. 2. Get rid of the brutish sensuality of our nature, and be 

3, 4. Get rid of the wild-beast cruelty of our nature, and 
become humane : cherish love, instead of hatred, in our breasts. 
ape ; this word at once suggests Darwin's Origin of Species and 
The Descent of Man ; but these works did not appear till long 
after the publication of In Memoriam. The reference, all the 
same, is to the theory that the different species of animals are 
not rigidly distinct, but that a lower species may develop into a 
higher, so that an ape may develop into man. This theory had 
been taught already by Lamarck, in a rudimentary way. In the 
atmosphere of the learned world of Europe, there floated cloudy 
fancies about man's origin and descent, in the second quarter of 
the nineteenth century, till Chambers's Vestiges of Creation came 
out anonymously before In Memoriam, and raised a great storm. 
Tennyson's nature, no doubt, recoiled from a belief in such 
ignoble ancestry ; " but if such is our descent, let us try and get 
rid of the ancestral taint," he seems to say here, tiger ; the 
cruelty inherent in man's lower nature : "Man's inhumanity to 
man," as Burns puts it. 

NOTES. 177 

CXIX. i. 1. A visit to the residence of the Hallams in 

4. meadow ; the fresh smell of grass and leaf and flower in 
the early morning. 

CXX. i. 2. Man's is not purely an intellectual nature, but his 
is also a spiritual nature a soul. Another reference to 
materialism which teaches that man is only an ape with a 
very large brain. Not so, replies the poet, but man is a soul, 
and a soul could never have been developed out of a creature 
without one ; though a creature with merely a larger brain may 
have been developed out of a creature with a smaller one. 

3. Magnetic mockeries; according to those who say that 
thought and will are mere forms of electricity, generated in the 
battery of the brain, and working along the conducting wires of 
the nerves ; so that man is a mere electric machine : a sort 
of Frankenstein monster. (See CXXV. iv. ) 

4. 1 Corinthians, xv. 32. St. Paul had to fight, for his life, 
with wild beasts in the arena at Ephesus (unless the incident is 
taken, metaphorically, to be the danger he ran in a tumult). 
Like Paul, Tennyson asks, what is the good of fighting against 
death if there is not a life after death ? I fought with death ; I 
overcame the feeling that death is the end of all, by attaining to 
the conviction that there is a life after death : it is through this 
conviction that the last enemy, death, shall be destroyed that 
death will be swallowed up in victory. 

ii. 1. A body, beautifully made, but yet without a soul : a 
machine skilfully constructed, but yet not a living workman 
if such is man. 

3. An echo of St. Paul's question, "What advantageth it, 
if the dead rise not ? " 

4. If man is a soulless machine I would have flung away my 
life, rather than have lived to endure the misery of hopeless 
grief. The same happy victory over thoughts of suicide occurs 
in XXXIV. and in the Two Voices, written during this gloomy 
period shortly after Hallam's death. (See Memoir, i. 109.) 

iii. 1. wiser; ironical : for coming after me, he must, according 
to the law of evolution, be wiser than I am. 

3. greater ; more highly organized : with a larger brain. 

4. born ; not developed out of the ape, as a higher species 
out of a lower, but born with a spiritual nature and a soul, 
which no other species of animal is born with or acquires. The 
two opposed questions of the creation of distinct species, and of 
the development of the higher species from the lower, were, and 
still are, the main point of contention between theology and 
science, and, recently, between scientists and scientists. 


CXXI. i. 1. o'er ; above (in the sky). 

ii. 1, 2. Labour ceases on land and water. 

3. closing ; for the night. 

4. darkened ; in sleep. 

iii. 1. for ; because of your repose (as Hesper, during night). 

3. wakeful ; early rising : say, the lark (not the nightingale, 
to whom this epithet, in another sense, is applied by Milton). 

4. greater light ; the sun, and, allegorically, the happiness 
at the thought of meeting Hallam in the next world ; such as he 
now feels assured of. 

v. 1, 2. Separation (Hesper) from Hallam must imply reunion 
(Phosphor) with him : the two are parts of one event. 

3. Thou ; star with a double name, one of which applies to 
my present happy frame of mind (in the full faith that I shall be 
reunited to him, so that the star of hope is a rising one), and the 
other, to my past misery (when grief obscured this faith, and 
the star of hope seemed to be a setting star). 

4. changed ; from west to east. same ; Hesperus and 
Phosphor are two names for the same star (Venus as she is the 
evening or the morning star). 

CXXII. i. 2. When I rebelled against the tyranny of grief. 

4. So that the sweet influence of eternal hope, hitherto 
clouded by grief, might again shine upon me. 

ii. 1. placid ; for the violence of grief is gone, and grief is 

3. stars ; of hope of the many joys in store for me. 

4. No longer fighting against law and the will of God, as I 
did in the hour of grief. 

iii. 3, 4. breast . . . brow . . . blood ; emotion . . . intellect . . . will and 

iv. 1. Be filled with the inspiration of your presence. 

3. former ; in youth. 

4. Divest myself of thoughts of a life of friendship, destined 
to end in death, and dwell upon thoughts of eternal life and 
eternal friendship. Supply before "I," as the co-ordinate of 
"as" in 1. 3, the following : " So, now, in this present flash of 
joy" (i.e. in the renovated youth I now feel). 

v. 2. dew-drop ; tears he has shed. 

3. wizard ; because no one knows whence it comes, whither 
it goes : magic in its suddenness. 

NOTES. 179 

CXXIII. i. Water where once there was land, and land where 
once there was water : the changes being due to geologic move- 

4. The sea is silent during a storm : it is the ship's cordage, 
etc. , that causes the howling of the winds, central ; away from 
land, where and near which the winds do roar. 

ii. 1. shadows; that pass away : not " everlasting." 

iii. 2. dream ; that, in the midst of all this change in universal 
matter, there is something that does not change namely, the 
soul of man. 

3, 4. Though I can bid you in words a farewell as of separa- 
tion, I cannot conceive in thought that I am separated from you. 

CXXIV. i. 1. God. 

2. faith ; when we believe that He exists, doubt ; when we 
fear He does not exist. dearest ; for all faith centres in that 
belief, ghastliest ; for what will become of man's soul and 
spirit, if there is no Soul of souls, no God ? 

3. He ; a personal God. They ; a trinity or a plurality of 
Gods. All : God who contains in Him the universe, or the God 
of Pantheism. We need not think that Tennyson's large- 
minded Christianity here rejects the ideas of God in other 
religions than his own. within ; in our minds ; the Universal 
Mind, without ; in nature : the essence of matter. 

4. darkness ; for we know Him not. guess ; in faith 

ii. 1, 2. The argument from design fails to prove God to me. 
Paley instances the multiplying eyes of insects, and the proofs 
from astronomy, both here referred to. 

2, 3. Dogmatic theology, or rather its abuse, through fine- 
spun argument, fails to prove God to me. try ; submit to the 
test of his intellectual acumen. 

iii. 1. When faith fell asleep and scepticism awoke. 

3. A universe, eternal, but without a God. After Tennyson 
wrote, this belief took the name of agnosticism. 

iv. 2. colder ; where reason shuts out emotion. 

3. wrath ; at the passing doubt that crosses his path. , 

4. felt ; that God exists, though I cannot prove it. 

v. 1. child ; typifying the helplessness of reason in such 

2. blind clamour ; the cry in v. 2-4. 

vi. 1. what I am ; namely man, with an eternal soul. 

2. what is ; namely God, the Soul of souls. 



3. darkness ; of reason and doubt. 

4. nature ; and her so-called laws, through ; implying that 
nature is not the final cause, but that there is a cause beyond 
her, of which she is only the intermediate agent. She alone 
could not have created man, body and soul : she might, at the 
utmost, have created his body. 

CXXV. i. 2. would ; even though I did not wish it. 

4. tongue ; but none in the heart, 
ii. 2. dimmer ; through grief. 

3. gracious lies ; for instance that his friendship had died 
with the death of his friend, arid that his grief was for both 
deaths : this last is the graciousness. 

4. truth ; that friendship cannot die. 

iii. 1-3. care; through grief. He; love, sweet and strong ; 

through hope. 

iv. 3. electric force ; power of nerve acting instantaneously ; 
that sustains the body, but cannot sustain the soul. Tennyson 
concedes this much to science, that man's physical organization 
may be explained by it, but not his spiritual nature : nerve-force 
may be electricity, as science says. 
4. fail ; when the body dies. 

CXXVI. i. 4. couriers ; messengers. So, messages pass between 
the two friends : that is, they think of each other : Hallam of 
Tennyson on earth, no less than Tennyson of Hallam in the next 

ii. 3. Love has a higher court in the next world. 

4. guard ; faith, that protects and sustains love. The 
epithet " faithful " seems to imply that faith is meant here. 

iii. 1. sentinel ; hope, that keeps a look out for love. 

4. Whispers that all is well in the future not only in my 
own individual case, but in the economy of the universe, deep 
night ; of fear and doubt in the present. 

CXXVIL i. 1. Faith, in its essence, continues to live, though 
its old form may be destroyed. For instance, modern science 
has destroyed the old form of Christian faith, but the essence of 
that faith still lives in a new form. 

2. fear ; lest there should be no faith, but that it might 
perish, both essence and form. 

3. Well : for it forebodes peace and calm in the end. storm ; 
of social upheaval. 

4. deeper voice ; of Him who directs the storm. We think 
of Addison's angel here. 

NOTES. 181 

ii. 1. social truth ; as opposed to social follies, like communism 
and socialism, in their extravagances. 

2. thrice again ; in the future : there have been barricades 
erected more than thrice in the past, in the history of France : 
in 1588, and in the revolutions of 1789, 1830, and 1848. We 
need not look upon this last as a date too late to be referred to 
in this poem. (See note on XXVIII. i.) 

3. Red Republicanism in France is an example. 

iii. 1. ill ; supply "roars the storm." him; grinding tyranny. 

2. lazar ; the starving mob seeking to put an end to tyranny 
through violence (" red fool-fury " above) is an example. 

3. crags ; that support the overlying ' ' ice " of next line : 
the bare gaunt masses of the people that form the foundation on 
which a tyrannical monarchy is built up : that form the base of 
the social pyramid (as once they did in France). An earthquake 
shakes this foundation ; and the result follows in 1. 4. 

4. spires ; the ice-cap of a volcanic mountain, sustained by 
the underlying crags and rock that form its mass, ice ; because 
such a monarch has no feeling, no sympathy, for his people : 
this was true, without disguise, of Charles X., and, under a 
mask, of Louis Philippe. 

iv. 1. A volcanic eruption and overflow of lava. 

2. fortress ; for example, the Bastile of Paris and other 
artificial strengthenings of a tyrannical government, ruling by 

3. brute earth ; (an expression from Horace), for example, 
the mob of the Faubourgs : the political edifice is gone, and what 
remains is a chaos of brute anarchy the bare ground on which it 

4. JEon ; that social and political system that has run its 
course whose age is past. 

v. The poet's optimism. A spirit of the next world alone can 
see the end of all this : can foresee that anarchy and bloodshed 
will end in better rule and better security : so, too, has Hallam's 
spirit smiled on my grief, knowing it would end in joy eternal. 
The reference in this section seems to be to recent events, i.e., if 
the date of its composition allows, to those of 1848, rather than 
those of 1830. 

CXXVIII. i. 1. stronger wings ; of the greater faith : that 
regarding the things of the next world. 

3, 4. lesser faith ; regarding the things of this world : for 
instance, the revolutions in states described above. 

ii. 3. Like Egyptian, Greek, Roman. 


iii. 1. Times of change and revolution in states, like the 
changes of fear and hope the poet has experienced in his own 

2, 3. If history merely repeated itself, without making any 
progress ; if war and revolution did not better the world ; if, 
themselves being evil, they produced no good. 

iv. 1. To draw ; in war. to sheathe ; in peace, useless ; for, 
under the supposition, neither war nor peace would better the 

2. lies ; like those uttered by a demagogue, or like Napoleon's 

3. Religious discord and schism ; producing, not Christian 
love, but unchristian hatreds. 

4. Legislation, amendment of the law : which, under the 
supposition, would be merely altering words, without improving 

v. 1. To shift power from the hands of a despot into those of 
the mob, for instance : where there is again change without 

2. To think that learning cannot advance the practical 
interests of the human race, but is only a closet and book-worm 
pursuit. Bacon, too, protested against such an opinion. 

3, 4. To make old things look like new ; make things 
internally rotten look externally beautiful ; for instance, as Sir 
Walter Scott tried to conceal the seamy side of feudalism under 
the bright lining of romance. 

vi. 1,2. If this is all that time can do in the life and history of 
man on earth namely change without progress, why, then, I 
heartily despise time and all his works, in part ; like St. Paul. 
3, 4. But this is not all that time can do ; for the eyes of my 
lesser faith (i. 4) see, in time and his works, art, design, co- 
operation, harmony : so that seeming present social evil only 
works towards future social good. 

CXXIX. i. 4. lower ; on earth, higher ; in the next world, 
ii. 2. This is the lower love. 
3. This is the higher love, 
iii. 2. darklier ; in your present condition. 

3. good ; for man : for the whole race. 

4. Think that the world, all mankind, will share in that 
good which is in store for me in you : think that the happiness 
of which you , are the source to me will also be imparted to 
all my own species, and not be confined to me. Tennyson's 

NOTES. 183 

large-heartediiess again : he will not keep his happiness all to 
himself, but will share it with his kind. 

CXXX. This section is, if we may so call it, apotheosis of the 
dead friend, who is merged in God and becomes all the world to 
him, the poet. 

ii. 3, 4. That power that now diffuses you through all nature, 
all the universe, does not yet rob you of your individuality for me : 
so that I continue to love, and know very well whom it is I love. 
This diffusion, therefore, is not of the nature of a Buddhist 

. iii. 1. before ; of those four years. 

3. This is the diffusion through nature and the apotheosis 
into God. 

CXXXI. i. 1. The living stream of free-will that flows towards 
belief in the unseen, and sweeps off doubts against that belief : 
as opposed to the dead, barren desert of reasoning, in which 
doubt and scepticism wander about. (See 1 Corinthians, x. 4.) 

2. seems ; but is not : phenomena, shock ; of destruction. 

3. rock ; the source of this river of faith : the Rock of Ages. 

4. Such a faith is productive of good works : while reasoned 
scepticism is barren. 

ii. 1. dust ; life on earth. 

2. Mm ; a dead friend, for instance : so " one " in 1. 4. 

3. Years of grief and doubt that have yet failed to under- 
mine faith : time conquered by faith. 

iii. 2. With these words reason and science are finally put out of 
court, truths : the next life, the immortality of the soul, the 
eternal nature of friendship. 

3. all we loved ; friends now dead. 

4. all we flow from ; God. 

CONCLUSION, i. 2. thou ; Edmund Lushington, about to be 
married to the poet's sister, Cecilia. 

ii. 3. daughter ; the poet's sister, Emily. 

iii. 2. 1833 plus 9 gives 1842 as the date of the wedding. 

3. The old belief required only seven years for this complete 
change of the human body. 

iv. 4. colossal ; the result of a faith that cannot be shaken : as 
opposed to the fleeting songs of 1. 2. 

v. 4. greater ; the struggle with doubt has given him this 


vi. 2. weaker ; when doubt was strong in him. 

3. Half these songs are nothing more than idle rhymes, 
brawling ; like a forest stream : much noise, little water. 

4. Alternations of short-lived faith, eclipsed by recurring 

viii. 3. shook ; twinkled : no doubt, there are happy tears in 
her eyes. 

ix. 3, 4. This seems to have been a long attachment then. 

x. 3, 4. He wears learning like an ornament, and does not 
carry it like a burden. Lushington was professor of Greek at 

xiii. 2. The feet of her, my darling, dead ; the graves in the 

xvi. 3. blind ; the belfry walls must have had no windows, but 
only loopholes or oylets. rocks ; with the vigorous ringing. 

4. dead ; the time must be advanced autumn. Inanimate 
objects share in the joy. 

xviii. 3. This grave is out in the churchyard : whose can it 
be ? and where was the wedding solemnized ? 

4. This, and next line, seem to, but do not, indicate that 
the grave was Hallam's ; that was in the chancel. 

xix. 2. them ; the happy couple. 

3, 4. The wedding breakfast and the honeymoon tour. 
xx. 2. whiter ; brighter, less clouded. 

3. Memory of grief now dying away. 

xxii. 2. guest ; Hallam's spirit. This stanza and the last four 
give a character to what otherwise would have been merely the 
description of a wedding. 

xx vi. 1. The wedding dinner. 

2. thought ; of grief. 

3. double ; to the couple. 

xxvii. 2. loud ; when ringing the marriage peal. 

4. fire ; the moon. 

xxix. 1. white-faced ; stuccoed, plastered. 

3. and; supply " pass." 

4. silver ; water, hills ; of Wales and Somersetshire ? 

xxx. 4. shores ; of wherever they had gone for the honey- 

xxod. 2. system ; the solar system, for example. 

NOTES. 185 

3. draw ; draw itself, vast ; the eternal and infinite soul, 
from which our human souls are emanations. Platonic. 

4. And take birth into a human body. 

This wish for a son (or daughter) worthy of such parents (and, 
we might add, of such an uncle) is quite in keeping with this 
epithalamium. The poem on death concludes with the hope of 
a birth. 

xxxii. 1. lower phase ; embryonic life. The human embryo, 
books on anatomy and physiology tell us, much resembles the 
embryo of the lower animals. 

4. crowning race ; distant posterity : what the human race 
will rise to in the future, till the race of man, ceasing to be man, 
will pass into the higher race of what, for want of a better word, 
we call angels, in the upward gradation of souls. 

xxxiii. 1. eye to eye ; whereas we, the present race, see 
darkly through a glass, or indirectly through reflexion, as from 
a mirror. 

3. The mind of man, when fully developed then, will in 
reality be what it now vainly calls itself the lord of creation ; 
whereas now, matter sometimes triumphs over mind ; because 
man has not yet acquired complete command over the powers of 

4. The book of nature will no longer be a sealed book, as, 
in some of its pages, it now is, to man ; e.g. the origin of matter, 
the differentiation of matter. 

xxxiv. 2. we ; the present generation. 

4. them ; a future and more perfect, or less imperfect, 

xxxv. 1. The last remembrance, the last name ("friend") in 
the poem, is that of Hallam. 

3. He was born in advance of his age. 

xxxvi. 2. one law ; the law of laws, the final law : the " sum- 
mary law " of God, as Bacon calls it. one element ; in the moral 
world : namely, pure unmixed good. In the physical world 
there are many elements ; but even physical science is now 
feeling its way towards resolving the multiplicity of the elements 
of chemistry into mere modes of one element. 

3. When man will be as like God as it is possible for a 
creature to be like his Creator. 

The poem ends with this confession of faith of the whole 
creation eternal upward progress. 



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In memoriam