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.
Another anniversary of Hallam’s death is the occasion for Tennyson to reflect on nature and the world of human beings as the partners of his grief. Nature does what it does in its streams, trees, birds and seasons; people do what they do, marry, give birth, and die. Those who mourn a death wherever they live, are the most conscious sharers of Tennyson’s feelings. This is an odd but subtle canto.