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

September 15

Arthur Henry Hallam

By Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809–1892)

  • From “In Memoriam
  • The friend of Tennyson. His early death (on Sept. 15, 1883), is the subject of “In Memoriam.”

  • THE DANUBE to the Severn gave

    The darken’d heart that beat no more;

    They laid him by the pleasant shore,

    And in the hearing of the wave.

    There twice a day the Severn fills;

    The salt sea-water passes by,

    And hushes half the babbling Wye,

    And makes a silence in the hills.

    The Wye is hush’d nor moved along

    And hush’d my deepest grief of all,

    When fill’d with tears that cannot fall,

    I brim with sorrow drowning song.

    The tide flows down, the wave again

    Is vocal in its wooded walls;

    My deeper anguish also falls,

    And I can speak a little then.

    I envy not in any moods

    The captive void of noble rage,

    The linnet born within the cage,

    That never knew the summer woods:

    I envy not the beast that takes

    His license in the field of time,

    Unfetter’d by the sense of crime,

    To whom a conscience never wakes;

    Nor, what may count itself as blest,

    The heart that never plighted troth,

    But stagnates in the weeds of sloth;

    Nor any want-begotten rest.

    I hold it true, whate’er befall;

    I feel it, when I sorrow most;

    ’Tis better to have loved and lost

    Than never to have loved at all.

    This truth came borne with bier and pall,

    I felt it when I sorrowed most,

    ’Tis better to have loved and lost,

    Than never to have loved at all—