‘Now fades the last long streak of snow’: this canto, Canto CXV from Alfred, Lord Tennyson‘s long elegy In Memoriam A. H. H. (1850) – written in memory of his friend Arthur Henry Hallam – offers a bittersweet take on the arrival of spring. What grows in the speaker’s breast as spring comes into blossom is regret – regret that his dear friend is gone, that spring is a reminder that the world continues to turn and life carries on, but Tennyson’s friend does not return. One of the best poems in a great long poetic sequence.
Now fades the last long streak of snow,
Now burgeons every maze of quick
About the flowering squares, and thick
By ashen roots the violets blow.