Tennyson’s Poetry

by: Alfred Lord Tennyson

“In Memoriam A. H. H.”

1

I sometimes hold it half a sin To put in 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.

2

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 wrapped thee formless in the fold.

3

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.

4

No visual shade of someone lost, But he, the Spirit himself, may come Where all the nerve of sense is numb; Spirit to Spirit, Ghost to Ghost. . . . Descend, and touch, and enter; hear The wish too strong for words to name; That in the blindness of the frame My Ghost may feel that thine is near.

5

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; human, divine; Sweet human hand and lips and eye; Dear heavenly friend that canst not die, Mine, mine, for ever, ever mine[.]