© 2018 by Samantha Mack

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Canto XVIII




'Tis well; 'tis something; we may stand    Where he in English earth is laid,    And from his ashes may be made The violet of his native land.


'Tis little; but it looks in truth    As if the quiet bones were blest    Among familiar names to rest And in the places of his youth.


Come then, pure hands, and bear the head    That sleeps or wears the mask of sleep,    And come, whatever loves to weep, And hear the ritual of the dead.


Ah yet, ev'n yet, if this might be,    I, falling on his faithful heart,    Would breathing thro' his lips impart The life that almost dies in me;


That dies not, but endures with pain,    And slowly forms the firmer mind,    Treasuring the look it cannot find, The words that are not heard again.


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