Study Guide

In Memoriam A.H.H. Canto 119

By Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Canto 119

Lines 2541-2552

Doors, where my heart was used to beat
   So quickly, not as one that weeps
   I come once more; the city sleeps;
I smell the meadow in the street;

I hear a chirp of birds; I see
   Betwixt the black fronts long-withdrawn
   A light-blue lane of early dawn,
And think of early days and thee,

And bless thee, for thy lips are bland,
   And bright the friendship of thine eye;
   And in my thoughts with scarce a sigh
I take the pressure of thine hand.

  • The doors in the first stanza are probably the doors to the house where Arthur once lived.
  • It's interesting that now the speaker is coming to this place "not as one that weeps." The big take-away here is that he's way less sad than the last time he darkened this guy's door.
  • It's clear he's once again visiting the places where his friend once was, but this time with a new and improved outlook.
  • Even though Arthur is now gone, the speaker feels "the pressure of [his] hand."
  • Of course, this plays into the pattern of imagery you've probably noticed by now: of things entwining and hands clasping (check out "Symbols, Imagery, Wordplay" for other examples).
  • Here, it's the imagined pressure of Arthur's hand in his, but it seems to be no less important to Tennyson than if it were the real thing.
  • He's definitely on the mental mend.