© 2018 by Samantha Mack

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Canto XXX




With trembling fingers did we weave    The holly round the Chrismas hearth;    A rainy cloud possess'd the earth, And sadly fell our Christmas-eve.


At our old pastimes in the hall    We gambol'd, making vain pretence    Of gladness, with an awful sense Of one mute Shadow watching all.


We paused: the winds were in the beech    We heard them sweep the winter land    And in a circle hand-in-hand Sat silent, looking each at each.


Then echo-like our voices rang;    We sung, tho' every eye was dim,    A merry song we sang with him Last year: impetuously we sang:


We ceased: a gentler feeling crept    Upon us: surely rest is meet:    "They rest," we said, "their sleep is sweet," And silence follow'd, and we wept.


Our voices took a higher range;    Once more we sang: "They do not die    Nor lose their mortal sympathy, Nor change to us, although they change;


"Rapt from the fickle and the frail    With gather'd power, yet the same,    Pierces the keen seraphic flame From orb to orb, from veil to veil."


Rise, happy morn, rise, holy morn,    Draw forth the cheerful day from night:    O Father, touch the east, and light The light that shone when Hope was born.


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

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