When Alfred, Lord Tennyson wrote In Memoriam, it was as an elegy for his friend Arthur Henry Hallam. But it is his description of Nature as "red in tooth and claw" that has created imagery that has lasted over one hundred and fifty years. He was referring to Nature's cruelty for taking the life of a beloved friend, but we are reminded daily that Nature does not share our sentimentality.
Who trusted God was love indeed
And love Creation’s final law–
Tho’ Nature, red in tooth and claw
With ravine, shriek’d against his creed–
Who loved, who suffer’d countless ills,
Who battled for the True, the Just,
Be blown about the desert dust,
Or seal’d within the iron hills?
As Humans we are subject to the whims of Nature.
The entire poem is available here in all its delicious Victorian melodrama.
Two Owls by Debbie Carlos found on Etsy.
Clockwise from top:
Fox claw pendant OdetteNewYork/Tooth Ring e e lewis/Teeth ring by Anne Arden McDonald/Owl Claw necklace by Black Sparrow