A PILGRIMAGE THROUGH ‘IN MEMORIAM’ 87

Sweet after showers, ambrosial air,
That rollest from the gorgeous gloom
Of evening over brake and bloom
And meadow, slowly breathing bare


The round of space, and rapt below
Thro’ all the dewy-tassell’d wood,
And shadowing down the horned flood
In ripples, fan my brows and blow


The fever from my cheek, and sigh
The full new life that feeds thy breath
Throughout my frame, till Doubt and Death,
Ill brethren, let the fancy fly


From belt to belt of crimson seas
On leagues of odour streaming far,
To where in yonder orient star
A hundred spirits whisper `Peace.’

This canto, apparently one of Tennyson’s favourites, allows the “ambrosial air” perhaps the west wind, to clear the sky of clouds and his soul of fret, allowing his imagination to fly with it towards the eastern star, which counsels peace. The canto is one sentence miming this healing process.

The horned flood is also found in PL book 11 in Milton’s description of the Flood, from Tennyson has appropriated it. When a stream of flowing water meets an obstacle, it divides, so becoming horned.

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