Verse > Anthologies > James and Mary Ford, eds. > Every Day in the Year
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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        5
  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        10
  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,        15
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;        20
 
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.
 
 
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