Study Guide

In Memoriam A.H.H. Canto 57

By Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Canto 57

Lines 1101-1116

Peace; come away: the song of woe
   Is after all an earthly song:
   Peace; come away: we do him wrong
To sing so wildly: let us go.

Come; let us go: your cheeks are pale;
   But half my life I leave behind:
   Methinks my friend is richly shrined;
But I shall pass; my work will fail.

Yet in these ears, till hearing dies,
   One set slow bell will seem to toll
   The passing of the sweetest soul
That ever look'd with human eyes.

I hear it now, and o'er and o'er,
   Eternal greetings to the dead;
   And "Ave, Ave, Ave," said,
"Adieu, adieu," for evermore.

  • Oh, Tennyson. You're talking to yourself again. Or maybe he's talking to someone else that he has brought to Arthur's grave?
  • At any rate, he's telling himself (or this other person) to be quiet. "Peace" means "hush up!"
  • They're disturbing his grave with their wild grief.
  • He leaves behind something so important to him, though, that it's almost like "half his life."
  • Until he cannot hear anything anymore (so, basically until Tennyson dies), he'll hear the bell that tolls for the totally-sweetest guy who ever existed.
  • The bell continually says, "Hello" ("Ave," which is a Latin greeting) and "Good-bye" forever and ever—sniff.