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 of time,
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;
      Run out your measured arcs, and lead
The closing cycle rich in good.


Victorian Website Overview Alfred Lord Tennyson In Memoriam Leading Questions next

Last modified 19 February 2010