Study Guide

In Memoriam A.H.H. Canto 60

By Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Canto 60

Lines 1145-1160

He past; a soul of nobler tone:
   My spirit loved and loves him yet,
   Like some poor girl whose heart is set
On one whose rank exceeds her own.

He mixing with his proper sphere,
   She finds the baseness of her lot,
   Half jealous of she knows not what,
And envying all that meet him there.

The little village looks forlorn;
   She sighs amid her narrow days,
   Moving about the household ways,
In that dark house where she was born.

The foolish neighbors come and go,
   And tease her till the day draws by:
   At night she weeps, "How vain am I!
How should he love a thing so low?"

  • The speaker acknowledges how Arthur has passed on and is now on a higher plane than he is. Arthur is now "mixing with his proper sphere" up in Heaven, not slumming it with people like Tenny down on the earthly plane.
  • Then he gives us yet another extended metaphor that presents their friendship in terms of a male-female love match.
  • Tennyson is like a love-sick girl who has fallen hard for a guy who is way above her in social station. This is totally like the basketcase-jock hook-up in The Breakfast Club.