Study Guide

In Memoriam A.H.H. Canto 33

By Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Canto 33

Lines 669-684

O thou that after toil and storm
   Mayst seem to have reach'd a purer air,
   Whose faith has centre everywhere,
Nor cares to fix itself to form,

Leave thou thy sister when she prays,
   Her early Heaven, her happy views;
   Nor thou with shadow'd hint confuse
A life that leads melodious days.

Her faith thro' form is pure as thine,
   Her hands are quicker unto good:
   Oh, sacred be the flesh and blood
To which she links a truth divine!

See thou, that countess reason ripe
   In holding by the law within,
   Thou fail not in a world of sin,
And ev'n for want of such a type.

  • Tennyson seems to praise Mary for her faith. He seems almost fearful that Lazarus will open his mouth and say something about where he's been that will destroy his (Tennyson's) own faith.