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Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809-1892)

In Memoriam A. H. H. OBIIT MDCCCXXXIII: 7


              1Dark house, by which once more I stand
              2      Here in the long unlovely street,
              3      Doors, where my heart was used to beat
              4So quickly, waiting for a hand,

              5A hand that can be clasp'd no more--
              6      Behold me, for I cannot sleep,
              7      And like a guilty thing I creep
              8At earliest morning to the door.

              9He is not here; but far away
            10      The noise of life begins again,
            11      And ghastly thro' the drizzling rain
            12On the bald street breaks the blank day.

Notes

1] First published anonymously in the volume with this title in 1850, though the 131 sections or separate poems that compose it were written and rewritten from 1833 to the time of publication. Two of the 131 sections were added in later editions: LIX in 1851, and XXXIX in 1872. The poem is in memory of Tennyson's friend Arthur Henry Hallam, son of the eminent historian. Hallam was engaged to marry Tennyson's sister Emily, when he died suddenly of a stroke in Vienna on September 15, 1833, at the age of twenty-two. Although written without any plan at first, the parts of the poem were finally arranged in a pattern to cover the period of about three years following Hallam's death. Tennyson himself insisted that it is "a poem, not a biography .... The different moods of sorrow as in a drama are dramatically given, and my conviction that fear, doubts, and suffering will find answer and relief only through Faith in a God of Love. `I' is not always the author speaking of himself, but the voice of the human race speaking through him."
OBIIT MDCCCXXXIII: he died in 1833.
Dark house: Hallam's former home at No. 67 Wimpole Street, London.


Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: Alfred lord Tennyson, In Memoriam (London: E. Moxon, 1850). PR 5562 A1 1850 Victoria College Library (Toronto). Alfred lord Tennyson, Works (London: Macmillan, 1891). tenn T366 A1 1891a Fisher Rare Book Library (Toronto).
First publication date: 1850
RPO poem editor: H. M. McLuhan
RP edition: 3RP 3.63.
Recent editing: 2:2002/2/14

Rhyme: abba


Other poems by Alfred Lord Tennyson