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In Memoriam
LXXVIII

by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Again at Christmas did we weave 
The holly round the Christmas hearth; 
The silent snow possess'd the earth, 
And calmly fell our Christmas-eve:

The yule-clog sparkled keen with frost, 
No wing of wind the region swept, 
But over all things brooding slept 
The quiet sense of something lost.

As in the winters left behind,
Again our ancient games had place,
The mimic picture's breathing grace,
And dance and song and hoodman-blind.

Who show'd a token of distress?
No single tear, no mark of pain: 
O sorrow, then can sorrow wane?
O grief, can grief be changed to less?

O last regret, regret can die!
No -- mixt with all this mystic frame,
Her deep relations are the same,
But with long use her tears are dry.
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