Poem of the Week
Founded August 1996
<   PotW #23a   >
This Week's Poem

Past Poems...
...by Poet
...by Title and First Line
...by Occasion

Contact about...
...Free Subscription
...Submitting a Poem
...other Questions

The Fine Print...
...Copyright Information
...Page Mission
...Privacy Policy

Links to...
...other Poetry Sites



  Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809-1892)

            from In Memoriam A.H.H.


    I sometimes hold it half a sin
        To put in words the grief I feel:
        For words, like Nature, half reveal
    And half conceal the Soul within.

    But, for the unquiet heart and brain,
        A use in measured language lies;
        The sad mechanic exercise,
    Like dull narcotics, numbing pain.

    In words, like weeds, I'll wrap me o'er,
        Like coarsest clothes against the cold;
        But that large grief which these enfold
    Is given outline and no more.


The 131 sections, prologue, and epilogue that make up In Memoriam A.H.H. were written between 1833 and 1850 in honor of Arthur Henry Hallam (1811-1833). Tennyson was Poet Laureate of England from 1850 until 1892.

The poem in its entirety can be found, for example, in:

  • Tennyson, Alfred. Tennyson's Poetry: Authoritative Texts, Juvenilia and Early Responses, Criticism. Robert W. Hill Jr., ed. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 1971.