Westminster Abbey

Original Text: 
Poems of Henrietta A. Huxley with Three of Thomas Henry Huxley (London: Duckworth, 1913): 3-4. 9700.d.1043 Cambridge University Library
October 12, 1892
"Gib diesen Todten mir heraus." -- Don Carlos.
2To me that have grown
3Stone laid upon stone,
4As the stormy brood
5Of English blood
6Has waxed and spread
7And filled the world,
8With sails unfurled;
9With men that may not lie;
10With thoughts that cannot die.
11Bring me my dead!
12Into the storied hall,
13Where I have garnered all
14My harvest without weed;
15My chosen fruits of seed;
16And lay him gently down among
17The men of state, the men of song;
18The men that would not suffer wrong;
19The thought-worn chieftains of the mind;
20Head servants of the human kind.
21Bring me my dead!
22The autumn sun shall shed
23Its beams athwart the bier's
24Heaped blooms; a many tears
25Shall flow; his words, in cadence sweet and strong,
26Shall voice the full hearts of the silent throng.
27Bring me my dead!
28And oh! sad wedded mourner, seeking still
29For vanished hand-clasp; drinking in thy fill
30Of holy grief: forgive, that pious theft
31Robs thee of all, save memories, left:
32Not thine to kneel beside the grassy mound
33While dies the western glow; and all around
34Is silence; and the shadows closer creep
35And whisper softly: All must fall asleep.

Notes

1] October 12, 1892: the funeral service for Alfred Lord Tennyson occurred this date in Westminster Abbey. In a letter dated November 3, 1892, Huxley wrote to George John Romanes: "The `Gib diesen Todten' I am hardly responsible for, as it did itself coming down here [to Eastbourne] in the train after Tennyson's funeral. The notion came into my head in the Abbey." The German epigraph comes from Friedrich Schiller's play Don Carlos (1787). Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
1892
Publication Notes: 
Huxley, Thomas Henry, "Westminster Abbey: October 12, 1892," Nineteenth Century 32 (November 1892): 831-32.
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
2002
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