Matthew Arnold

Youth and Calm – Matthew Arnold

Youth and Calm – Matthew Arnold

‘Tis death! and peace, indeed, is here, And ease from shame, and rest from fear. There’s nothing can dismarble now The smoothness of that limpid brow. But is a calm like this, in truth, The crowning end of life and youth, And when this boon rewards the dead, Are all debts paid, has all b... »

Worldly Place – Matthew Arnold

Worldly Place – Matthew Arnold

Even in a palace, life may be led well! So spake the imperial sage, purest of men, Marcus Aurelius. But the stifling den Of common life, where, crowded up pell-mell, Our freedom for a little bread we sell, And drudge under some foolish master’s ken Who rates us if we peer outside our pen–... »

West London – Matthew Arnold

West London – Matthew Arnold

Crouch’d on the pavement close by Belgrave Square A tramp I saw, ill, moody, and tongue-tied; A babe was in her arms, and at her side A girl; their clothes were rags, their feet were bare. Some labouring men, whose work lay somewhere there, Pass’d opposite; she touch’d her girl, wh... »

Thyrsis, a Monody – Matthew Arnold

Thyrsis, a Monody – Matthew Arnold

How changed is here each spot man makes or fills! In the two Hinkseys nothing keeps the same; The village street its haunted mansion lacks, And from the sign is gone Sibylla’s name, And from the roofs the twisted chimney-stacks– Are ye too changed, ye hills? See, ’tis no foot of un... »

The Voice – Matthew Arnold

The Voice – Matthew Arnold

As the kindling glances, Queen-like and clear, Which the bright moon lances From her tranquil sphere At the sleepless waters Of a lonely mere, On the wild whirling waves, mournfully, mournfully, Shiver and die. As the tears of sorrow Mothers have shed— Prayers that tomorrow Shall in vain be sped Whe... »

The Strayed Reveller – Matthew Arnold

The Strayed Reveller – Matthew Arnold

1 Faster, faster, 2 O Circe, Goddess, 3 Let the wild, thronging train 4 The bright procession 5 Of eddying forms, 6 Sweep through my soul! 7 Thou standest, smiling 8 Down on me! thy right arm, 9 Lean’d up against the column there, 10 Props thy soft cheek; 11 Thy left holds, hanging loosely, 12... »

The Song Of Empedocles – Matthew Arnold

The Song Of Empedocles – Matthew Arnold

And you, ye stars, Who slowly begin to marshal, As of old, in the fields of heaven, Your distant, melancholy lines! Have you, too, survived yourselves? Are you, too, what I fear to become? You, too, once lived; You too moved joyfully Among august companions, In an older world, peopled by Gods, In a ... »

The Song of Callicles – Matthew Arnold

The Song of Callicles – Matthew Arnold

THROUGH the black, rushing smoke-bursts, Thick breaks the red flame. All Etna heaves fiercely Her forest-clothed frame. Not here, O Apollo! Are haunts meet for thee. But, where Helicon breaks down In cliff to the sea. Where the moon-silver’d inlets Send far their light voice Up the still vale ... »

The Scholar Gypsy – Matthew Arnold

The Scholar Gypsy – Matthew Arnold

Go, for they call you, shepherd, from the hill; Go, shepherd, and untie the wattled cotes! No longer leave thy wistful flock unfed, Nor let thy bawling fellows rack their throats, Nor the cropped herbage shoot another head. But when the fields are still, And the tired men and dogs all gone to rest, ... »

The Pagan World – Matthew Arnold

The Pagan World – Matthew Arnold

In his cool hall, with haggard eyes, The Roman noble lay; He drove abroad, in furious guise, Along the Appian way. He made a feast, drank fierce and fast, And crowned his hair with flowers— No easier nor no quicker passed The impracticable hours. The brooding East with awe beheld Her impious younger... »

The Last Word – Matthew Arnold

The Last Word – Matthew Arnold

Creep into thy narrow bed, Creep, and let no more be said! Vain thy onset! all stands fast. Thou thyself must break at last! Let the long contention cease! Geese are swans, and swans are geese. Let them have it how they will! Thou art tired; best be still! They out-talked thee, hissed thee, tore the... »

The Future – Matthew Arnold

The Future – Matthew Arnold

A wanderer is man from his birth. He was born in a ship On the breast of the river of Time; Brimming with wonder and joy He spreads out his arms to the light, Rivets his gaze on the banks of the stream. As what he sees is, so have his thoughts been. Whether he wakes, Where the snowy mountainous pass... »

The Forsaken Merman – Matthew Arnold

The Forsaken Merman – Matthew Arnold

Come, dear children, let us away; Down and away below! Now my brothers call from the bay, Now the great winds shoreward blow, Now the salt tides seaward flow; Now the wild white horses play, Champ and chafe and toss in the spray. Children dear, let us away! This way, this way! Call her once before y... »

The Buried Life – Matthew Arnold

The Buried Life – Matthew Arnold

Light flows our war of mocking words, and yet, Behold, with tears mine eyes are wet! I feel a nameless sadness o’er me roll. Yes, yes, we know that we can jest, We know, we know that we can smile! But there’s a something in this breast, To which thy light words bring no rest, And thy gay... »

Strayed Reveller, The – Matthew Arnold

Strayed Reveller, The – Matthew Arnold

The Youth Faster, faster, O Circe, Goddess, Let the wild, thronging train The bright procession Of eddying forms, Sweep through my soul! Thou standest, smiling Down on me! thy right arm, Lean’d up against the column there, Props thy soft cheek; Thy left holds, hanging loosely, The deep cup, iv... »

Stanzas from the Grande Chartreuse – Matthew Arnold

Stanzas from the Grande Chartreuse – Matthew Arnold

Through Alpine meadows soft-suffused With rain, where thick the crocus blows, Past the dark forges long disused, The mule-track from Saint Laurent goes. The bridge is cross’d, and slow we ride, Through forest, up the mountain-side. The autumnal evening darkens round, The wind is up, and drives... »

Song of Callicles, The – Matthew Arnold

Song of Callicles, The – Matthew Arnold

Through the black, rushing smoke-bursts, Thick breaks the red flame. All Etna heaves fiercely Her forest-clothed frame. Not here, O Apollo! Are haunts meet for thee. But, where Helicon breaks down In cliff to the sea. Where the moon-silver’d inlets Send far their light voice Up the still vale ... »

Sohrab and Rustum – Matthew Arnold

Sohrab and Rustum – Matthew Arnold

And the first grey of morning fill’d the east, And the fog rose out of the Oxus stream. But all the Tartar camp along the stream Was hush’d, and still the men were plunged in sleep; Sohrab alone, he slept not; all night long He had lain wakeful, tossing on his bed; But when the grey dawn... »

Shakespeare – Matthew Arnold

Shakespeare – Matthew Arnold

Others abide our question. Thou art free. We ask and ask—thou smilest and art still, Out-topping knowledge. For the loftiest hill, Who to the stars uncrowns his majesty, Planting his stedfast footsteps in the sea, Making the heaven of heavens his dwelling-place, Spares but the cloudy border of his b... »

Self-Dependence – Matthew Arnold

Self-Dependence – Matthew Arnold

Weary of myself, and sick of asking What I am, and what I ought to be, At this vessel’s prow I stand, which bears me Forwards, forwards, o’er the starlit sea. And a look of passionate desire O’er the sea and to the stars I send: ‘Ye who from my childhood up have calm’d ... »

Rugby Chapel – Matthew Arnold

Rugby Chapel – Matthew Arnold

Coldly, sadly descends The autumn-evening. The field Strewn with its dank yellow drifts Of wither’d leaves, and the elms, Fade into dimness apace, Silent;–hardly a shout From a few boys late at their play! The lights come out in the street, In the school-room windows;–but cold, Sol... »

Requiescat – Matthew Arnold

Requiescat – Matthew Arnold

Strew on her roses, roses, And never a spray of yew! In quiet she reposes; Ah, would that I did too! Her mirth the world required; She bathed it in smiles of glee. But her heart was tired, tired, And now they let her be. Her life was turning, turning, In mazes of heat and sound. But for peace her so... »

Quiet Work – Matthew Arnold

Quiet Work – Matthew Arnold

One lesson, Nature, let me learn of thee, One lesson which in every wind is blown, One lesson of two duties kept at one Though the loud world proclaim their enmity– Of toil unsever’d from tranquility! Of labor, that in lasting fruit outgrows Far noisier schemes, accomplish’d in rep... »

Progress – Matthew Arnold

Progress – Matthew Arnold

The Master stood upon the mount, and taught. He saw a fire in his disciples’ eyes; ‘The old law’, they said, ‘is wholly come to naught! Behold the new world rise!’ ‘Was it’, the Lord then said, ‘with scorn ye saw The old law observed by Scribes and Pharisees? I say unto you, see ye keep that law Mor... »

Philomela – Matthew Arnold

Philomela – Matthew Arnold

Hark! ah, the nightingale— The tawny-throated! Hark, from that moonlit cedar what a burst! What triumph! hark!—what pain! O wanderer from a Grecian shore, Still, after many years, in distant lands, Still nourishing in thy bewildered brain That wild, unquenched, deep-sunken, old-world pain— Say, will... »

Obermann Once More – Matthew Arnold

Obermann Once More – Matthew Arnold

Glion?–Ah, twenty years, it cuts All meaning from a name! White houses prank where once were huts. Glion, but not the same! And yet I know not! All unchanged The turf, the pines, the sky! The hills in their old order ranged; The lake, with Chillon by! And, ‘neath those chestnut-trees, wh... »

Mycerinus – Matthew Arnold

Mycerinus – Matthew Arnold

‘Not by the justice that my father spurn’d, Not for the thousands whom my father slew, Altars unfed and temples overturn’d, Cold hearts and thankless tongues, where thanks are due; Fell this dread voice from lips that cannot lie, Stern sentence of the Powers of Destiny. ‘I wi... »

Morality – Matthew Arnold

Morality – Matthew Arnold

We cannot kindle when we will The fire which in the heart resides; The spirit bloweth and is still, In mystery our soul abides. But tasks in hours of insight will’d Can be through hours of gloom fulfill’d. With aching hands and bleeding feet We dig and heap, lay stone on stone; We bear t... »

Memorial Verses – Matthew Arnold

Memorial Verses – Matthew Arnold

Goethe in Weimar sleeps, and Greece, Long since, saw Byron’s struggle cease. But one such death remain’d to come; The last poetic voice is dumb– We stand to-day by Wordsworth’s tomb. When Byron’s eyes were shut in death, We bow’d our head and held our breath. He t... »

Lines Written in Kensington Gardens – Matthew Arnold

Lines Written in Kensington Gardens – Matthew Arnold

In this lone, open glade I lie, Screen’d by deep boughs on either hand; And at its end, to stay the eye, Those black-crown’d, red-boled pine-trees stand! Birds here make song, each bird has his, Across the girdling city’s hum. How green under the boughs it is! How thick the tremulo... »

Hayeswater – Matthew Arnold

Hayeswater – Matthew Arnold

A region desolate and wild. Black, chafing water: and afloat, And lonely as a truant child In a waste wood, a single boat: No mast, no sails are set thereon; It moves, but never moveth on: And welters like a human thing Amid the wild waves weltering. Behind, a buried vale doth sleep, Far down the to... »

From the Hymn of Empedocles – Matthew Arnold

From the Hymn of Empedocles – Matthew Arnold

IS it so small a thing To have enjoy’d the sun, To have lived light in the spring, To have loved, to have thought, to have done; To have advanced true friends, and beat down baffling foes; That we must feign a bliss Of doubtful future date, And while we dream on this Lose all our present state... »

East London – Matthew Arnold

East London – Matthew Arnold

‘Twas August, and the fierce sun overhead Smote on the squalid streets of Bethnal Green, And the pale weaver, through his windows seen In Spitalfields, looked thrice dispirited. I met a preacher there I knew, and said: “Ill and o’erworked, how fare you in this scene?”— “... »

Consolation – Matthew Arnold

Consolation – Matthew Arnold

Mist clogs the sunshine. Smoky dwarf houses Hem me round everywhere; A vague dejection Weighs down my soul. Yet, while I languish, Everywhere countless Prospects unroll themselves, And countless beings Pass countless moods. Far hence, in Asia, On the smooth convent-roofs, On the gilt terraces, Of ho... »

Cadmus and Harmonia – Matthew Arnold

Cadmus and Harmonia – Matthew Arnold

Far, far from here, The Adriatic breaks in a warm bay Among the green Illyrian hills; and there The sunshine in the happy glens is fair, And by the sea, and in the brakes. The grass is cool, the sea-side air Buoyant and fresh, the mountain flowers More virginal and sweet than ours. And there, they s... »

The Burried Life  – Matthew Arnold

The Burried Life  – Matthew Arnold

Light flows our war of mocking words, and yet, Behold, with tears mine eyes are wet! I feel a nameless sadness o’er me roll. Yes, yes, we know that we can jest, We know, we know that we can smile! But there’s a something in this breast, To which thy light words bring no rest, And thy gay... »

Bacchanalia – Matthew Arnold

Bacchanalia – Matthew Arnold

The evening comes, the fields are still. The tinkle of the thirsty rill, Unheard all day, ascends again; Deserted is the half-mown plain, Silent the swaths! the ringing wain, The mower’s cry, the dog’s alarms, All housed within the sleeping farms! The business of the day is done, The las... »

Apollo Musagetes – Matthew Arnold

Apollo Musagetes – Matthew Arnold

Through the black, rushing smoke-bursts, Thick breaks the red flame; All Etna heaves fiercely Her forest-clothed frame. Not here, O Apollo! Are haunts meet for thee. But, where Helicon breaks down In cliff to the sea, Where the moon-silver’d inlets Send far their light voice Up the still vale ... »

To Marguerite – Matthew Arnold

To Marguerite – Matthew Arnold

Yes! in the sea of life enisled, With echoing straits between us thrown, Dotting the shoreless watery wild, We mortal millions live alone. The islands feel the enclasping flow, And then their endless bounds they know. But when the moon their hollows lights, And they are swept by balms of spring, And... »

To a Republican Friend – Matthew Arnold

To a Republican Friend – Matthew Arnold

God knows it, I am with you. If to prize Those virtues, priz’d and practis’d by too few, But priz’d, but lov’d, but eminent in you, Man’s fundamental life: if to despise The barren optimistic sophistries Of comfortable moles, whom what they do Teaches the limit of the j... »

A Wish by Matthew Arnold

A Wish by Matthew Arnold

I ask not that my bed of death From bands of greedy heirs be free; For these besiege the latest breath Of fortune’s favoured sons, not me. I ask not each kind soul to keep Tearless, when of my death he hears; Let those who will, if any, weep! There are worse plagues on earth than tears. I ask ... »

To A Friend by Matthew Arnold

To A Friend by Matthew Arnold

Who prop, thou ask’st in these bad days, my mind?– He much, the old man, who, clearest-souled of men, Saw The Wide Prospect, and the Asian Fen, And Tmolus hill, and Smyrna bay, though blind. Much he, whose friendship I not long since won, That halting slave, who in Nicopolis Taught Arria... »

Longing by Matthew Arnold

Longing by Matthew Arnold

Come to me in my dreams, and then By day I shall be well again! For so the night will more than pay The hopeless longing of the day. Come, as thou cam’st a thousand times, A messenger from radiant climes, And smile on thy new world, and be As kind to others as to me! Or, as thou never cam̵... »

Isolation: To Marguerite by Matthew Arnold

Isolation: To Marguerite by Matthew Arnold

We were apart; yet, day by day, I bade my heart more constant be. I bade it keep the world away, And grow a home for only thee; Nor fear’d but thy love likewise grew, Like mine, each day, more tried, more true. The fault was grave! I might have known, What far too soon, alas! I learn’d— ... »

The Scholar Gypsy by Matthew Arnold

The Scholar Gypsy by Matthew Arnold

Go, for they call you, shepherd, from the hill; Go, shepherd, and untie the wattled cotes! No longer leave thy wistful flock unfed, Nor let thy bawling fellows rack their throats, Nor the cropped herbage shoot another head. But when the fields are still, And the tired men and dogs all gone to rest, ... »

Growing Old by Matthew Arnold

Growing Old by Matthew Arnold

What is it to grow old? Is it to lose the glory of the form, The lustre of the eye? Is it for beauty to forego her wreath? Yes, but not for this alone. Is it to feel our strength— Not our bloom only, but our strength—decay? Is it to feel each limb Grow stiffer, every function less exact, Each nerve ... »

Matthew Arnold Quotes & Sayings

Matthew Arnold Quotes & Sayings

“Bald as the bare mountain tops are bald, with a baldness full of grandeur.” “Because thou must not dream, thou need not despair.” “But each day brings its petty dust our soon-choked souls to fill, and we forget because we must, and not because we will.” “Co... »

Brief Biography of Matthew Arnold

Brief Biography of Matthew Arnold

Although remembered now for his elegantly argued critical essays, Matthew Arnold (1822-1888) began his career as a poet, winning early recognition as a student at the Rugby School where his father, Thomas Arnold, had earned national acclaim as a strict and innovative headmaster. Arnold also studied ... »