In Memoriam A. H. H.: 105. To-night ungather'd let us leave by Lord Alfred Tennyson
To-night ungather'd let us leave This laurel, let this holly stand: We live within the stranger's land, And strangely falls our Christmas-eve. Our father's dust is left alone And silent under other snows: There in due time the woodbine blows, The violet comes, but we are gone. No more shall wayward grief abuse The genial hour with mask and mime; For change of place, like growth of time, Has broke the bond of dying use.
Let cares that petty shadows cast, By which our lives are chiefly proved, A little spare the night I loved, And hold it solemn to the past.
But let no footstep beat the floor, Nor bowl of wassail mantle warm; For who would keep an ancient form Thro' which the spirit breathes no more?
Be neither song, nor game, nor feast; Nor harp be touch'd, nor flute be blown; No dance, no motion, save alone What lightens in the lucid east
Of rising worlds by yonder wood. Long sleeps the summer in the seed; Run out your measured arcs, and lead The closing cycle rich in good.