Thy spirit ere our fatal loss Did ever rise from high to higher; As mounts the heavenward altar-fire, As flies the lighter thro' the gross.
But thou art turn'd to something strange, And I have lost the links that bound Thy changes; here upon the ground, No more partaker of thy change.
Deep folly! yet that this could be— That I could wing my will with might To leap the grades of life and light, And flash at once, my friend, to thee.
For tho' my nature rarely yields To that vague fear implied in death; Nor shudders at the gulfs beneath, The howlings from forgotten fields;
Yet oft when sundown skirts the moor An inner trouble I behold, A spectral doubt which makes me cold, That I shall be thy mate no more,
Tho' following with an upward mind The wonders that have come to thee, Thro' all the secular to-be, But evermore a life behind.
-Alfred Lord Tennyson, In Memoriam A. H. H., Canto XLI