In memoriam

In memoriam  (memor ´i-am ).—To the memory of.
In Memoriam.—A poem by Alfred Tennyson, published in 1850, and consisting of one hundred and thirty “short swallow flights of song,” in a measure which Tennyson has made his own. It is well known that these “brief lays, of sorrow born,” were written in memory of the author's friend, Arthur Henry Hallam, who died in 1833. They are characterized by George MacDonald as forming “the poem of the hoping doubters, the poem of our age—the grand minor organ fugue of In Memoriam. It is the cry of the bereaved Psyche into the dark infinite after the vanished love. His friend is nowhere in his sight, and God is silent. Death, God's final compulsion to prayer, in its dread, its gloom, its utter stillness, its apparent nothingness, urges the cry. Moanings over the dead are mingled with the profoundest questionings of philosophy, the signs of nature, and the story of Jesus, while now and then the star of the morning, bright Phosphor, flashes a few rays through the shifting cloudy dark. And if the sun has not arisen on the close of the book, yet the aurora of the coming dawn gives light enough to make the onward journey possible and hopeful.”