Study Guide

In Memoriam A.H.H. Canto 79

By Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Canto 79

Lines 1465-1484

"More than my brothers are to me,"—
   Let this not vex thee, noble heart!
   I know thee of what force thou art
To hold the costliest love in fee.

But thou and I are one in kind,
   As moulded like in Nature's mint;
   And hill and wood and field did print
The same sweet forms in either mind.

For us the same cold streamlet curl'd
   Thro' all his eddying coves, the same
   All winds that roam the twilight came
In whispers of the beauteous world.

At one dear knee we proffer'd vows,
   One lesson from one book we learn'd,
   Ere childhood's flaxen ringlet turn'd
To black and brown on kindred brows.

And so my wealth resembles thine,
   But he was rich where I was poor,
   And he supplied my want the more
As his unlikeness fitted mine.

  • Take a look back at line 220, in case the quotation that kicks off the first verse here sounds familiar. The speaker previously said that Arthur meant more to him than his own brothers.
  • Tennyson is apparently a bit scared that his own real brother is going to read too much into that. He's trying to avert a Family Feud: Christmas Edition.
  • Tenny re-assures his bro that they, too, are totes alike—because they grew up in the same place and among all the same peeps.
  • Arthur, though, was figuratively "rich[er]" than the speaker.
  • He was apparently just enough unlike Tennyson that they fit together way better. Opposites attract, we guess.