by: Alfred Tennyson (1809-1892)
- O-NIGHT the winds begin to rise
- And roar from yonder dropping day;
- The last 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;
- 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 laboring breast,
- And topples round the dreary west,
- A looming bastion fringed with fire.
- With trembling fingers did we weave
- The holly round the Christmas hearth;
- A rainy cloud possess'd the earth,
- and sadly fell on Christmas-eve.
- At our old pastimes in the hall
- We gamboll's, 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 to 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, altho' they change;
- 'Rapt from the fickle and the frail
- With gather'd power, yet the same,
- Pierces the keen seraphic flame
- From orb to orb, from veil to veil.'
- Rise, happy morn, rise, holy morn,
- Draw forth the cheerful day from night:
- O Father, touch the east, and light
- The light that shone when Hope was born.
- O living will that shall endure
- When all that seems shall suffer shock,
- Rise in the spiritual rock,
- Flow thro' our deeds and make them pure,
- That we may lift from out of dust
- A voice as unto him that hears,
- A cry above the conquer'd years
- To one that with us works, and trust,
- With faith that comes of self-control,
- The truths that never can be proved
- Until we close with all we loved,
- And all we flow from, soul to soul.
POEMS BY ALFRED TENNYSON
'In Memoriam' is reprinted from
English Poems. Ed. Edward Chauncey Baldwin. New York:
American Book Company, 1908.