In Memoriam A.H.H.
Arthur Henry Hallam's friendship with Lord Alfred Tennyson lasted a mere four years. Arthur was about to be a brother-in-law to Tennyson. His death at age 22 shocked Tennyson profoundly with a grief that led to the writing of In Memoriam, consisting of 133 poems. The following is an extract of the Prelude to the voluminous tome.
Strong Son of God, immortal Love,
Whom we, that have not seen thy face,
By faith, and faith alone, embrace,
Believing where we cannot prove;
Thine are these orbs of light and shade;
Thou madest Life in man and brute;
Thou madest Death; and lo, thy foot
Is on the skull which thou hast made.
Thou wilt not leave us in the dust;
Thou madest man, he knows not why,
He thinks he was not made to die;
And thou hast made him: thou art just.
Forgive what seemed my sin in me;
What seemed my worth since I began;
For merit lives from man to man,
And not from man, O Lord, to thee.
Forgive my grief for one removed,
Thy creature whom I found so fair,
I trust he lives in thee, and there
I find him worthier to be loved.
Forgive these wild and wandering cries,
Confusions of a wasted youth;
Forgive them where they fail in truth,
And in thy wisdom make me wise.