Study Guide

In Memoriam A.H.H. Canto 115

By Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Canto 115

Lines 2465-2484

Now fades the last long streak of snow,
   Now burgeons every maze of quick
   About the flowering squares, and thick
By ashen roots the violets blow.

Now rings the woodland loud and long,
   The distance takes a lovelier hue,
   And drown'd in yonder living blue
The lark becomes a sightless song.

Now dance the lights on lawn and lea,
   The flocks are whiter down the vale,
   And milkier every milky sail
On winding stream or distant sea;

Where now the seamew pipes, or dives
   In yonder greening gleam, and fly
   The happy birds, that change their sky
To build and brood; that live their lives

From land to land; and in my breast
   Spring wakens too; and my regret
   Becomes an April violet,
And buds and blossoms like the rest.

  • It's springtime once again. We know that because the snow is going away and everything is flowering again. Nature is erupting with new growth and the birds are singing. Check all the details out in the first two stanzas here.
  • What's more interesting, though, is how Tennyson's inner emotions reflect what's happening outside.
  • The birds are a particularly hopeful image here. They are piping and diving around, "happy."
  • This is also another example of the "pathetic fallacy" we alerted you to earlier (check out Canto 2). Here, because Tennyson is in a better mood, nature reflects that.
  • His regret is disappearing in favor of "buds and blossoms." So he's starting to get happy again.
  • He's still making progress and hasn't yet really backslid in his new-found faith.