“In Memoriam” by Alfred Lord Tennyson

by Hilary Gauntt on December 23, 2011

This is an excerpt  from Verse XXX of this famous poem, dealing with the first Christmas after the death in 1833 of Arthur Hallam, aged 22; who was the best friend of this remarkable poet, and engaged to be married to his sister.

May beautiful moments and happy memories surround you and your family this holiday season!

All Love , Hilary and Brittany

With trembling fingers did we weave

The holly round the Christmas hearth.

A rainy cloud possessed the earth

And sadly fell our Christmas Eve.

At our old pastimes in the Hall

We gambol’d, making vain pretence

Of gladdness, 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 followed, and we wept.

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.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,

Ring, happy bells, across the snow:

The year is going, let him go;

Ring out the false, ring in the true.


I hold it true, whate’er befall;

I feel it, when I sorrow most.

Tis’ better to have loved and lost

Than never to have loved at all.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Casey December 27, 2011 at 8:22 pm

Oh, sweet Prince and Princess.
All love


Marcy Honigfort January 4, 2012 at 12:44 pm

This is a truly special poem. It has helped my sons with the loss of their brother. With love, Marcy

Ft. Collins, CO


Hilary Gauntt December 3, 2012 at 1:58 pm

As I was decorating the “Christmas hearth” today I felt the need to go back and read this post and and this moving piece of poetry. I am so grateful for your comment and to know your family found it helpful as well. I hope this last year has brought you comfort and healing. All Love – Hilary


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