Study Guide

In Memoriam A.H.H. Canto 63

By Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Canto 63

Lines 1185-1196

Yet pity for a horse o'er-driven,
   And love in which my hound has part,
   Can hang no weight upon my heart
In its assumptions up to heaven;

And I am so much more than these,
   As thou, perchance, art more than I,
   And yet I spare them sympathy,
And I would set their pains at ease.

So mayst thou watch me where I weep,
   As, unto vaster motions bound,
   The circuits of thine orbit round
A higher height, a deeper deep.

  • Tennyson loves his overworked horse and his dog, and this love doesn't interfere with his higher goals.
  • He's setting up an analogy: if he can love his animals without it interfering with his journey to higher things, then Arthur's spirit loving him shouldn't stop him (Arthur) from getting to higher things in Heaven.
  • It's kind of like one of those analogies you see on the SAT—Tennyson : a horse or a dog :: Arthur : some kind of heavenly creature. And Tennyson's better than a horse or a dog (we hope).