Study Guide

In Memoriam A.H.H. Canto 83

By Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Canto 83

Lines 1529-1544

Dip down upon the northern shore,
   O sweet new-year delaying long;
   Thou doest expectant nature wrong;
Delaying long, delay no more.

What stays thee from the clouded noons,
   Thy sweetness from its proper place?
   Can trouble live with April days,
Or sadness in the summer moons?

Bring orchis, bring the foxglove spire,
   The little speedwell's darling blue,
   Deep tulips dash'd with fiery dew,
Laburnums, dropping-wells of fire.

O thou, new-year, delaying long,
   Delayest the sorrow in my blood,
   That longs to burst a frozen bud
And flood a fresher throat with song.

  • And to go along with those images of renewal and rebirth in the previous canto, it's now the new year.
  • The speaker looks forward to the renewal of springtime (the reference to April tells us that), but it's taking too darn long.
  • Tennyson wants his voice to spring forth and burst its "frozen bud" (a metaphor for his sadness), just like the non-metaphorical flowers he's cataloging here.