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In Memoriam A. H. H. OBIIT MDCCCXXXIII: Part 103 by Alfred Lord Tennyson


On that last night before we went
  From out the doors where I was bred,
  I dream’d a vision of the dead,
Which left my after-morn content.

Methought I dwelt within a hall,
;;And maidens with me: distant hills
;;From hidden summits fed with rills
A river sliding by the wall.

The hall with harp and carol rang.
;;They sang of what is wise and good
;;And graceful. In the centre stood
A statue veil’d, to which they sang;

And which, tho’ veil’d, was known to me,
  The shape of him I loved, and love
  For ever: then flew in a dove
And brought a summons from the sea:

And when they learnt that I must go
  They wept and wail’d, but led the way
;;To where a little shallop lay
At anchor in the flood below;

And on by many a level mead,
;;And shadowing bluff that made the banks,
;;We glided winding under ranks
Of iris, and the golden reed;

And still as vaster grew the shore
;;And roll’d the floods in grander space,
  The maidens gather’d strength and grace
And presence, lordlier than before;

And I myself, who sat apart
;;And watch’d them, wax’d in every limb;
;;I felt the thews of Anakim,
The pulses of a Titan’s heart;

As one would sing the death of war,
  And one would chant the history
  Of that great race, which is to be,
And one the shaping of a star;

Until the forward-creeping tides
  Began to foam, and we to draw
  From deep to deep, to where we saw
A great ship lift her shining sides.

The man we loved was there on deck,
  But thrice as large as man he bent
  To greet us. Up the side I went,
And fell in silence on his neck:

Whereat those maidens with one mind
  Bewail’d their lot; I did them wrong:
;;’We served thee here’ they said, ‘so long,
And wilt thou leave us now behind?’

So rapt I was, they could not win
;;An answer from my lips, but he
;;Replying, ‘Enter likewise ye
And go with us:’ they enter’d in.

And while the wind began to sweep
  A music out of sheet and shroud,
  We steer’d her toward a crimson cloud
That landlike slept along the deep.