"Tennyson, In Memoriam"

In Memoriam A. H. H.  is a book-length poem written by Alfred Tennyson in response to the premature death of a friend.  It was written and refined over a period of 17 years and runs to approximately 3,000 lines. The poem includes many famous lines, such as "better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all" and is the origin of the phrase "nature, red in tooth and claw".  The poem was a great favourite of Queen Victoria's after the death of her husband.

As well as musings on death, life after death and grief, In Memoriam includes reflections on the scientific theories beginning to emerge about the evolution of species and changing geology of the earth.

A recording of the section of the poem from which these lines are taken can be found at the Librivox project.