Study Guide

In Memoriam A.H.H. Canto 91

By Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Canto 91

Lines 1857-1872

When rosy plumelets tuft the larch,
   And rarely pipes the mounted thrush;
   Or underneath the barren bush
Flits by the sea-blue bird of March;

Come, wear the form by which I know
   Thy spirit in time among thy peers;
   The hope of unaccomplish'd years
Be large and lucid round thy brow.

When summer's hourly-mellowing change
   May breathe, with many roses sweet,
   Upon the thousand waves of wheat,
That ripple round the lonely grange;

Come: not in watches of the night,
   But where the sunbeam broodeth warm,
   Come, beauteous in thine after form,
And like a finer light in light.

  • "Rosy plumelets"? Things "tuft[ing] the larch"? A thrush "pip[ing]"? What??
  • Okay, so we're back in spring. These are all ultra-poetic ways of saying birds are out flying around and flowers are blooming, so it's that time again.
  • The speaker beckons to Arthur to return to him during springtime in the same form he had when he lived on earth.
  • He wants him to come back in springtime or summer, but not at night.