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"The Shadow Cloaked From Head To Foot"

(Magill's Quotations in Context)

Context: This elegy was written as a monument to Arthur Henry Hallam, a young man of extraordinary promise and an intimate friend of Tennyson, who died suddenly in Vienna at the age of twenty-two. The poem records the slow, wavering spiritual progress of Tennyson from his initial depth of personal sorrow to the gradual healing of grief through a sense of spiritual contact with Hallam in a wider love of God and humanity. The opening sections of the poem express Tennyson's deep sense of personal loss. Sections XXII-XXV are a retreat to the past, comparing the happy five years Tennyson and Hallam spent together with the sad isolation of the present....

(The entire section is 234 words.)