James and Mary Ford, eds. Every Day in the Year. 1902.

February 1

Arthur Henry Hallam

By Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809–1892)

  • Arthur Henry Hallam was the son of Hallam the historian and an intimate friend of Tennyson, to whose sister he was betrothed. He died in Vienna in his twenty-third year and has been commemorated by the poet in “In Memoriam,” perhaps the most beautiful of modern elegiac verse. He was born in London Feb. 1, 1811.
  • From “In Memoriam

  • IT is the day when he was born,

    A bitter day that early sank

    Behind a purple-frosty bank

    Of vapor, leaving night forlorn.

    The time admits not flowers or leaves

    To deck the banquet. Fiercely flies

    The blast of North and East, and ice

    Makes daggers at the sharpen’d eaves,

    And bristles all the brakes and thorns

    To yon hard crescent, as she hangs

    About the wood which grides and clangs

    Its leafless ribs and iron horns.

    Together in the drifts that pass

    To darken on the rolling brine

    That breaks the coast. But fetch the wine,

    Arrange the board and brim the glass;

    Bring in great logs and let them lie,

    To make a solid core of heat;

    Be cheerful-minded, talk and treat

    Of all things ev’n as he were by;

    We keep the day. With festal cheer,

    With books and music, surely we

    Will drink to him, whate’er he be,

    And sing the songs he loved to hear.