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Canto I

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

But who shall so forecast the years   And find in loss a gain to match?   Or reach a hand thro' time to catch The far-off interest of tears?

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,

Than that the victor Hours should scorn   The long result of love, and boast,   "Behold the man that loved and lost, But all he was is overworn." 

-Alfred Lord Tennyson, In Memoriam A. H. H., Canto 1

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