Study Guide

In Memoriam A.H.H. Canto 99

By Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Canto 99

Lines 2077-2096

Risest thou thus, dim dawn, again,
   So loud with voices of the birds,
   So thick with lowings of the herds,
Day, when I lost the flower of men;

Who tremblest thro' thy darkling red
   On yon swoll'n brook that bubbles fast
   By meadows breathing of the past,
And woodlands holy to the dead;

Who murmurest in the foliaged eaves
   A song that slights the coming care,
   And Autumn laying here and there
A fiery finger on the leaves;

Who wakenest with thy balmy breath
   To myriads on the genial earth,
   Memories of bridal, or of birth,
And unto myriads more, of death.

O, wheresoever those may be,
   Betwixt the slumber of the poles,
   To-day they count as kindred souls;
They know me not, but mourn with me.

  • It's the anniversary of Arthur's death again. (We're at year 3, we think.) That first stanza is all about this particular day dawning, which was when Tennyson "lost the flower of men."
  • Things are looking better to old Tenny these days, though. He's showing interest in the sunrise and the dawn.
  • Just think about that for a few seconds. It symbolizes new beginnings and new starts (the start of a new day—both literally and metaphorically).
  • These images of nature are much more pleasant than many we have seen so far. His grief seems to be leaving him little by little, and things aren't looking so bleak.