Alfred Lord Tennyson

(6 August 1809 – 6 October 1892 / Lincoln / England)

In Memoriam 3: O Sorrow, Cruel Fellowship Poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson


O Sorrow, cruel fellowship,
O Priestess in the vaults of Death,
O sweet and bitter in a breath,
What whispers from thy lying lip?

"The stars," she whispers, "blindly run;
A web is wov'n across the sky;
From out waste places comes a cry,
And murmurs from the dying sun:

"And all the phantom, Nature, stands--
With all the music in her tone,
A hollow echo of my own,--
A hollow form with empty hands."

And shall I take a thing so blind,
Embrace her as my natural good;
Or crush her, like a vice of blood,
Upon the threshold of the mind?

Submitted: Thursday, January 1, 2004

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