Study Guide

In Memoriam A.H.H. Canto 59

By Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Canto 59

Lines 1129-1144

O Sorrow, wilt thou live with me
   No casual mistress, but a wife,
   My bosom-friend and half of life;
As I confess it needs must be;

O Sorrow, wilt thou rule my blood,
   Be sometimes lovely like a bride,
   And put thy harsher moods aside,
If thou wilt have me wise and good.

My centred passion cannot move,
   Nor will it lessen from to-day;
   But I'll have leave at times to play
As with the creature of my love;

And set thee forth, for thou art mine,
   With so much hope for years to come,
   That, howsoe'er I know thee, some
Could hardly tell what name were thine.

  • Once again, the speaker is getting his apostrophe on. This time, he's addressing Sorrow (his Muse), and asks that she live with him like a wife.
  • In other words, he's asking her to always stay with him so he'll be able to write—in particular, about Arthur. It seems like that's what "I'll have leave at times to play" means.