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105 Works of Matthew Arnold

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Epilogue

Story type: Poetry

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So I sang; but the Muse, Shaking her head, took the harp– Stern interrupted my strain, Angrily smote on the chords. April showers Rush o’er the Yorkshire moors. Stormy, through driving mist, Loom the blurr’d hills; the rain Lashes the newly-made grave. Unquiet souls! –In the dark fermentation of earth, In the never idle workshop […]

Kaiser Dead

Story type: Poetry

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April 6, 1887. What, Kaiser dead? The heavy news Post-haste to Cobham calls the Muse, From where in Farringford she brews The ode sublime, Or with Pen-bryn’s bold bard pursues A rival rhyme. Kai’s bracelet tail, Kai’s busy feet, Were known to all the village-street. “What, poor Kai dead?” say all I meet; “A loss […]

Poor Matthias

Story type: Poetry

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Poor Matthias!–Found him lying Fall’n beneath his perch and dying? Found him stiff, you say, though warm– All convulsed his little form? Poor canary! many a year Well he knew his mistress dear; Now in vain you call his name, Vainly raise his rigid frame, Vainly warm him in your breast, Vainly kiss his golden […]

Geist’s Grave

Story type: Poetry

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Four years!–and didst thou stay above The ground, which hides thee now, but four? And all that life, and all that love, Were crowded, Geist! into no more? Only four years those winning ways, Which make me for thy presence yearn, Call’d us to pet thee or to praise, Dear little friend! at every turn? […]

Westminster Abbey

Story type: Poetry

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JULY 25, 1881. (The Day of Burial, in the Abbey, of ARTHUR PENRHYN STANLEY, Dean of Westminster.) What! for a term so scant Our shining visitant Cheer’d us, and now is pass’d into the night? Couldst thou no better keep, O Abbey old, The boon thy dedication-sign foretold,[a] The presence of that gracious inmate, light?– […]

PERSONS EMPEDOCLES. PAUSANIAS, a Physician. CALLICLES, a young Harp-player. The Scene of the Poem is on Mount Etna; at first in the forest region, afterwards on the summit of the mountain . ACT I. SCENE I Morning. A Pass in the forest region of Etna. CALLICLES (Alone, resting on a rock by the path.) The […]

Merope: A Tragedy

Story type: Theater

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Story Of The Drama Apollodorus says:–“Cresphontes had not reigned long in Messenia when he was murdered, together with two of his sons. And Polyphontes reigned in his stead, he, too, being of the family of Hercules; and he had for his wife, against her will, Merope, the widow of the murdered king. But Merope had […]

(COMPOSED MANY YEARS AFTER THE PRECEDING) Savez-vous quelque bien qui console du regret d’un monde? OBERMANN. Glion?—-Ah, twenty years, it cuts[1] 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 […]

[1] NOVEMBER, 1849 In front the awful Alpine track Crawls up its rocky stair; The autumn storm-winds drive the rack, Close o’er it, in the air. Behind are the abandon’d baths[26] Mute in their meadows lone; The leaves are on the valley-paths, The mists are on the Rhone– The white mists rolling like a sea! […]

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 the rain; While, hark! far down, with strangled […]

Heine’s Grave

Story type: Poetry

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“HENRI HEINE”—- ’tis here! That black tombstone, the name Carved there–no more! and the smooth, Swarded alleys, the limes Touch’d with yellow by hot Summer, but under them still, In September’s bright afternoon, Shadow, and verdure, and cool. Trim Montmartre! the faint Murmur of Paris outside; Crisp everlasting-flowers, Yellow and black, on the graves. Half […]

Rugby Chapel

Story type: Poetry

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NOVEMBER 1857 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, Solemn, unlighted, austere, Through the gathering darkness, […]

APRIL, 1855 Where, under Loughrigg, the stream Of Rotha sparkles through fields Vested for ever with green, Four years since, in the house Of a gentle spirit, now dead– Wordsworth’s son-in-law, friend– I saw the meeting of two Gifted women.[1] The one, Brilliant with recent renown, Young, unpractised, had told With a master’s accent her […]

A Southern Night

Story type: Poetry

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The sandy spits, the shore-lock’d lakes, Melt into open, moonlit sea; The soft Mediterranean breaks At my feet, free. Dotting the fields of corn and vine, Like ghosts the huge, gnarl’d olives stand. Behind, that lovely mountain-line! While, by the strand, Cette, with its glistening houses white, Curves with the curving beach away To where […]

Far on its rocky knoll descried Saint Michael’s chapel cuts the sky. I climb’d;–beneath me, bright and wide, Lay the lone coast of Brittany. Bright in the sunset, weird and still, It lay beside the Atlantic wave, As though the wizard Merlin’s will Yet charm’d it from his forest-grave. Behind me on their grassy sweep, […]

Stanzas

Story type: Poetry

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IN MEMORY OF EDWARD QUILLINAN I saw him sensitive in frame, I knew his spirits low; And wish’d him health, success, and fame– I do not wish it now. For these are all their own reward, And leave no good behind; They try us, oftenest make us hard, Less modest, pure, and kind. Alas! yet […]

Memorial Verses

Story type: Poetry

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APRIL, 1850 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 taught us little; but our soul […]

Thyrsis

Story type: Poetry

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Thyrsis[1] A MONODY, to commemorate the author’s friend, ARTHUR HUGH CLOUGH, who died at Florence, 1861. 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 […]

The Scholar-Gipsy

Story type: Poetry

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The Scholar-Gipsy[1] 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 cropp’d herbage shoot another head. But when the fields are still, And the tired men and dogs all gone to […]

The Future

Story type: Poetry

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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 […]

A Wish

Story type: Poetry

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I ask not that my bed of death From bands of greedy heirs be free; For these besiege the latest breath Of fortune’s favour’d 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 […]

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 tremulous sheep-cries come! Sometimes a […]

The Buried Life

Story type: Poetry

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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, […]

A Summer Night

Story type: Poetry

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In the deserted, moon-blanch’d street, How lonely rings the echo of my feet! Those windows, which I gaze at, frown, Silent and white, unopening down, Repellent as the world;–but see, A break between the housetops shows The moon! and, lost behind her, fading dim Into the dewy dark obscurity Down at the far horizon’s rim, […]

Morality

Story type: Poetry

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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 the […]

Self-Dependence

Story type: Poetry

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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 me, […]

Revolutions

Story type: Poetry

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Before man parted for this earthly strand, While yet upon the verge of heaven he stood, God put a heap of letters in his hand, And bade him make with them what word he could. And man has turn’d them many times; made Greece, Rome, England, France;–yes, nor in vain essay’d Way after way, changes […]

Progress

Story type: Poetry

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The Master stood upon the mount, and taught. He saw a fire in his disciples’ eyes; “The old law,” they cried, “is wholly come to nought, 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 […]

Palladium

Story type: Poetry

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Set where the upper streams of Simois flow Was the Palladium, high ‘mid rock and wood; And Hector was in Ilium, far below, And fought, and saw it not–but there it stood! It stood, and sun and moonshine rain’d their light On the pure columns of its glen-built hall. Backward and forward roll’d the waves […]

The Youth Of Man

Story type: Poetry

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We, O Nature, depart, Thou survivest us! this, This, I know, is the law. Yes! but more than this, Thou who seest us die Seest us change while we live; Seest our dreams, one by one, Seest our errors depart; Watchest us, Nature! throughout, Mild and inscrutably calm. Well for us that we change! Well […]

Raised are the dripping oars, Silent the boat! the lake, Lovely and soft as a dream, Swims in the sheen of the moon. The mountains stand at its head Clear in the pure June-night, But the valleys are flooded with haze. Rydal and Fairfield are there; In the shadow Wordsworth lies dead. So it is, […]

What poets feel not, when they make, A pleasure in creating, The world, in its turn, will not take Pleasure in contemplating.

Though the Muse be gone away, Though she move not earth to-day, Souls, erewhile who caught her word, Ah! still harp on what they heard.

One morn as through Hyde Park we walk’d, My friend and I, by chance we talk’d Of Lessing’s famed Laocooen; And after we awhile had gone In Lessing’s track, and tried to see What painting is, what poetry– Diverging to another thought, “Ah,” cries my friend, “but who hath taught Why music and the other […]

I 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 last-left haymaker is gone. And […]

Ask not my name, O friend! That Being only, which hath known each man From the beginning, can Remember each unto the end.

Thus saith the Lord to his own: “See ye the trouble below? Warfare of man from his birth! Too long let we them groan; Haste, arise ye, and go, Carry my peace upon earth!” Gladly they rise at his call, Gladly obey his command, Gladly descend to the plain. –Ah! How few of them all, […]

The Last Word

Story type: Poetry

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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-talk’d thee, hiss’d thee, tore […]

Pis-Aller

Story type: Poetry

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“Man is blind because of sin, Revelation makes him sure; Without that, who looks within, Looks in vain, for all’s obscure.” Nay, look closer into man! Tell me, can you find indeed Nothing sure, no moral plan Clear prescribed, without your creed? “No, I nothing can perceive! Without that, all’s dark for men. That, or […]

New Rome

Story type: Poetry

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LINES WRITTEN FOR MISS STORY’S ALBUM The armless Vatican Cupid Hangs down his beautiful head; For the priests have got him in prison, And Psyche long has been dead. But see, his shaven oppressors Begin to quake and disband! And The Times, that bright Apollo, Proclaims salvation at hand. “And what,” cries Cupid, “will save […]

A VARIATION Youth rambles on life’s arid mount, And strikes the rock, and finds the vein, And brings the water from the fount, The fount which shall not flow again. The man mature with labour chops For the bright stream a channel grand, And sees not that the sacred drops Ran off and vanish’d out […]

Growing Old

Story type: Poetry

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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 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 […]

Dover Beach

Story type: Poetry

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The sea is calm to-night. The tide is full, the moon lies fair Upon the straits;–on the French coast the light Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand, Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay. Come to the window, sweet is the night-air! Only, from the long line of spray Where the […]

Self-Deception

Story type: Poetry

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Say, what blinds us, that we claim the glory Of possessing powers not our share? –Since man woke on earth, he knows his story, But, before we woke on earth, we were. Long, long since, undower’d yet, our spirit Roam’d, ere birth, the treasuries of God; Saw the gifts, the powers it might inherit, Ask’d […]

Despondency

Story type: Poetry

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The thoughts that rain their steady glow Like stars on life’s cold sea, Which others know, or say they know– They never shone for me. Thoughts light, like gleams, my spirit’s sky, But they will not remain. They light me once, they hurry by; And never come again.

Faded Leaves

Story type: Poetry

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1. THE RIVER Still glides the stream, slow drops the boat Under the rustling poplars’ shade; Silent the swans beside us float– None speaks, none heeds; ah, turn thy head! Let those arch eyes now softly shine, That mocking mouth grow sweetly bland; Ah, let them rest, those eyes, on mine! On mine let rest […]

Calais Sands

Story type: Poetry

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A thousand knights have rein’d their steeds To watch this line of sand-hills run, Along the never-silent Strait, To Calais glittering in the sun; To look tow’rd Ardres’ Golden Field Across this wide aerial plain, Which glows as if the Middle Age Were gorgeous upon earth again. Oh, that to share this famous scene, I […]

Euphrosyne

Story type: Poetry

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I must not say that thou wast true, Yet let me say that thou wast fair; And they, that lovely face who view, Why should they ask if truth be there? Truth–what is truth? Two bleeding hearts, Wounded by men, by fortune tried, Outwearied with their lonely parts, Vow to beat henceforth side by side. […]

Urania

Story type: Poetry

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I too have suffer’d; yet I know She is not cold, though she seems so. She is not cold, she is not light; But our ignoble souls lack might. She smiles and smiles, and will not sigh, While we for hopeless passion die; Yet she could love, those eyes declare, Were but men nobler than […]

Philomela

Story type: Poetry

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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 bewilder’d brain That wild, unquench’d, deep-sunken, old-world pain– Say, will it never heal? And can this fragrant lawn With its […]

For him who must see many years, I praise the life which slips away Out of the light and mutely; which avoids Fame, and her less fair followers, envy, strife, Stupid detraction, jealousy, cabal, Insincere praises; which descends The quiet mossy track to age. But, when immature death Beckons too early the guest From the […]

O frivolous mind of man, Light ignorance, and hurrying, unsure thoughts! Though man bewails you not, How I bewail you! Little in your prosperity Do you seek counsel of the Gods. Proud, ignorant, self-adored, you live alone. In profound silence stern, Among their savage gorges and cold springs, Unvisited remain The great oracular shrines. Thither […]

The Chorus Well hath he done who hath seized happiness! For little do the all-containing hours, Though opulent, freely give. Who, weighing that life well Fortune presents unpray’d, Declines her ministry, and carves his own; And, justice not infringed, Makes his own welfare his unswerved-from law. He does well too, who keeps that clue the […]

THE PORTICO OF CIRCE’S PALACE. EVENING A Youth. Circe 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, […]

Switzerland

Story type: Poetry

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1. MEETING Again I see my bliss at hand, The town, the lake are here; My Marguerite smiles upon the strand,[1] Unalter’d with the year. I know that graceful figure fair, That cheek of languid hue; I know that soft, enkerchief’d hair, And those sweet eyes of blue. Again I spring to make my choice; […]

“Ah, could thy grave at home, at Carthage, be!” Care not for that, and lay me where I fall! Everywhere heard will be the judgment-call; But at God’s altar, oh! remember me. Thus Monica, and died in Italy. Yet fervent had her longing been, through all Her course, for home at last, and burial With […]

He saves the sheep, the goats he doth not save. So rang Tertullian’s sentence, on the side Of that unpitying Phrygian sect which cried:[1] “Him can no fount of fresh forgiveness lave, “Who sins, once wash’d by the baptismal wave.”– So spake the fierce Tertullian. But she sigh’d, The infant Church! of love she felt […]

Foil’d by our fellow-men, depress’d, outworn, We leave the brutal world to take its way, And, Patience! in another life, we say, The world shall be thrust down, and we up-borne. And will not, then, the immortal armies scorn The world’s poor, routed leavings? or will they, Who fail’d under the heat of this life’s […]

“Yes, write it in the rock,” Saint Bernard said, “Grave it on brass with adamantine pen! ‘Tis God himself becomes apparent, when God’s wisdom and God’s goodness are display’d, “For God of these his attributes is made.”– Well spake the impetuous Saint, and bore of men The suffrage captive; now, not one in ten Recalls […]

Long fed on boundless hopes, O race of man, How angrily thou spurn’st all simpler fare! “Christ,” some one says, “was human as we are; No judge eyes us from Heaven, our sin to scan; “We live no more, when we have done our span.”– “Well, then, for Christ,” thou answerest, “who can care? From […]

In the bare midst of Anglesey they show Two springs which close by one another play; And, “Thirteen hundred years agone,” they say, “Two saints met often where those waters flow. “One came from Penmon westward, and a glow Whiten’d his face from the sun’s fronting ray; Eastward the other, from the dying day, And […]

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, who hied Across, and begg’d, […]

‘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, look’d thrice dispirited. I met a preacher there I knew, and said: “Ill and o’erwork’d, how fare you in this scene?”– “Bravely!” said he; “for I of late have been […]

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– Match’d […]

Rachel [Sonnets]

Story type: Poetry

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I In Paris all look’d hot and like to fade. Sere, in the garden of the Tuileries, Sere with September, droop’d the chestnut-trees. ‘Twas dawn; a brougham roll’d through the streets and made Halt at the white and silent colonnade Of the French Theatre. Worn with disease, Rachel, with eyes no gazing can appease, Sate […]

What made my heart, at Newstead, fullest swell?– ‘Twas not the thought of Byron, of his cry Stormily sweet, his Titan-agony; It was the sight of that Lord Arundel Who struck, in heat, his child he loved so well, And his child’s reason flicker’d, and did die. Painted (he will’d it) in the gallery They […]

That son of Italy who tried to blow,[1] Ere Dante came, the trump of sacred song, In his light youth amid a festal throng Sate with his bride to see a public show. Fair was the bride, and on her front did glow Youth like a star; and what to youth belong– Gay raiment, sparkling […]

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 […]

The Neckan

Story type: Poetry

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In summer, on the headlands, The Baltic Sea along, Sits Neckan with his harp of gold, And sings his plaintive song. Green rolls beneath the headlands, Green rolls the Baltic Sea; And there, below the Neckan’s feet, His wife and children be. He sings not of the ocean, Its shells and roses pale; Of earth, […]

Saint Brandan

Story type: Poetry

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Saint Brandan sails the northern main; The brotherhoods of saints are glad. He greets them once, he sails again; So late!–such storms!–The Saint is mad! He heard, across the howling seas, Chime convent-bells on wintry nights; He saw, on spray-swept Hebrides, Twinkle the monastery-lights. But north, still north, Saint Brandan steer’d– And now no bells, […]

[1] I Tristram Tristram Is she not come? The messenger was sure. Prop me upon the pillows once again– Raise me, my page! this cannot long endure. –Christ, what a night! how the sleet whips the pane! What lights will those out to the northward be? The Page The lanterns of the fishing-boats at sea. […]

Balder Dead

Story type: Poetry

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[1] I. SENDING So on the floor lay Balder dead; and round Lay thickly strewn swords, axes, darts, and spears, Which all the Gods in sport had idly thrown At Balder, whom no weapon pierced or clove; But in his breast stood fixt the fatal bough Of mistletoe, which Lok the Accuser gave To Hoder, […]

Sohrab and Rustum

Story type: Poetry

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AN EPISODE 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 […]

Hussein O most just Vizier, send away The cloth-merchants, and let them be, Them and their dues, this day! the King Is ill at ease, and calls for thee. The Vizier O merchants, tarry yet a day Here in Bokhara! but at noon, To-morrow, come, and ye shall pay Each fortieth web of cloth to […]

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 in their glens, […]

Narrative Poems

Story type: Poetry

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SOHRAB AND RUSTUM[6] AN EPISODE 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 […]

Consolation

Story type: Poetry

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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 holy Lassa, Bright shines the sun. Grey time-worn marbles […]

Resignation

Story type: Poetry

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TO FAUSTA To die be given us, or attain! Fierce work it were, to do again. So pilgrims, bound for Mecca, pray’d At burning noon; so warriors said, Scarf’d with the cross, who watch’d the miles Of dust which wreathed their struggling files Down Lydian mountains; so, when snows Round Alpine summits, eddying, rose, The […]

TO CRITIAS “Why, when the world’s great mind Hath finally inclined, Why,” you say, Critias, “be debating still? Why, with these mournful rhymes Learn’d in more languid climes, Blame our activity Who, with such passionate will, Are what we mean to be?” Critias, long since, I know (For Fate decreed it so), Long since the […]

Horatian Echo

Story type: Poetry

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Horatian Echo[4] (TO AN AMBITIOUS FRIEND) Omit, omit, my simple friend, Still to enquire how parties tend, Or what we fix with foreign powers. If France and we are really friends, And what the Russian Czar intends, Is no concern of ours. Us not the daily quickening race Of the invading populace Shall draw to […]

The Second Best

Story type: Poetry

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Moderate tasks and moderate leisure, Quiet living, strict-kept measure Both in suffering and in pleasure– ‘Tis for this thy nature yearns. But so many books thou readest, But so many schemes thou breedest, But so many wishes feedest, That thy poor head almost turns. And (the world’s so madly jangled, Human things so fast entangled) […]

Joy comes and goes, hope ebbs and flows Like the wave; Change doth unknit the tranquil strength of men. Love lends life a little grace, A few sad smiles; and then, Both are laid in one cold place, In the grave. Dreams dawn and fly, friends smile and die Like spring flowers; Our vaunted life […]

If, in the silent mind of One all-pure, At first imagined lay The sacred world; and by procession sure From those still deeps, in form and colour drest, Seasons alternating, and night and day, The long-mused thought to north, south, east, and west, Took then its all-seen way; O waking on a world which thus-wise […]

Human Life

Story type: Poetry

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What mortal, when he saw, Life’s voyage done, his heavenly Friend, Could ever yet dare tell him fearlessly: “I have kept uninfringed my nature’s law; The inly-written chart thou gavest me, To guide me, I have steer’d by to the end”? Ah! let us make no claim, On life’s incognisable sea, To too exact a […]

DOUGLAS, ISLE OF MAN Who taught this pleading to unpractised eyes? Who hid such import in an infant’s gloom? Who lent thee, child, this meditative guise? Who mass’d, round that slight brow, these clouds of doom? Lo! sails that gleam a moment and are gone; The swinging waters, and the cluster’d pier. Not idly Earth […]

So far as I conceive the world’s rebuke To him address’d who would recast her new, Not from herself her fame of strength she took, But from their weakness who would work her rue. “Behold,” she cries, “so many rages lull’d, So many fiery spirits quite cool’d down; Look how so many valours, long undull’d, […]

Stagirius

Story type: Poetry

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Stagirius[3] Thou, who dost dwell alone– Thou, who dost know thine own– Thou, to whom all are known From the cradle to the grave– Save, oh! save. From the world’s temptations, From tribulations, From that fierce anguish Wherein we languish, From that torpor deep Wherein we lie asleep, Heavy as death, cold as the grave, […]

The Voice

Story type: Poetry

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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 to-morrow Shall in vain be sped When the flower they flow […]

When I shall be divorced, some ten years hence, From this poor present self which I am now; When youth has done its tedious vain expense Of passions that for ever ebb and flow; Shall I not joy youth’s heats are left behind, And breathe more happy in an even clime?– Ah no, for then […]

A Memory-Picture

Story type: Poetry

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Laugh, my friends, and without blame Lightly quit what lightly came; Rich to-morrow as to-day, Spend as madly as you may! I, with little land to stir, Am the exacter labourer. Ere the parting hour go by, Quick, thy tablets, Memory! Once I said: “A face is gone If too hotly mused upon; And our […]

The New Sirens

Story type: Poetry

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In the cedarn shadow sleeping, Where cool grass and fragrant glooms Forth at noon had lured me, creeping From your darken’d palace rooms– I, who in your train at morning Stroll’d and sang with joyful mind, Heard, in slumber, sounds of warning; Heard the hoarse boughs labour in the wind. Who are they, O pensive […]

A Modern Sappho

Story type: Poetry

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They are gone–all is still! Foolish heart, dost thou quiver? Nothing stirs on the lawn but the quick lilac-shade. Far up shines the house, and beneath flows the river– Here lean, my head, on this cold balustrade! Ere he come–ere the boat by the shining-branch’d border Of dark elms shoot round, dropping down the proud […]

Youth And Calm

Story type: Poetry

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‘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 been […]

I The Castle Down the Savoy valleys sounding, Echoing round this castle old, ‘Mid the distant mountain-chalets Hark! what bell for church is toll’d? In the bright October morning Savoy’s Duke had left his bride. From the castle, past the drawbridge, Flow’d the hunters’ merry tide. Steeds are neighing, gallants glittering; Gay, her smiling lord […]

Continued

Story type: Poetry

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Yet, when I muse on what life is, I seem Rather to patience prompted, than that proud Prospect of hope which France proclaims so loud– France, famed in all great arts, in none supreme; Seeing this vale, this earth, whereon we dream, Is on all sides o’ershadow’d by the high Uno’erleap’d Mountains of Necessity, Sparing […]

TO THE SAME FRIEND Children (as such forgive them) have I known, Ever in their own eager pastime bent To make the incurious bystander, intent On his own swarming thoughts, an interest own– Too fearful or too fond to play alone. Do thou, whom light in thine own inmost soul (Not less thy boast) illuminates, […]

Mycerinus

Story type: Poetry

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Mycerinus[2] “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 will unfold my sentence and my crime. […]

ON SEEING, IN THE COUNTRY, HIS PICTURE OF “THE BOTTLE” Artist, whose hand, with horror wing’d, hath torn From the rank life of towns this leaf! and flung The prodigy of full-blown crime among Valleys and men to middle fortune born, Not innocent, indeed, yet not forlorn– Say, what shall calm us when such guests […]

God knows it, I am with you. If to prize Those virtues, prized and practised by too few, But prized, but loved, 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 just and true (And for such doing […]

ON HEARING HIM MISPRAISED Because thou hast believed, the wheels of life Stand never idle, but go always round; Not by their hands, who vex the patient ground, Moved only; but by genius, in the strife Of all its chafing torrents after thaw, Urged; and to feed whose movement, spinning sand, The feeble sons of […]

TO A PREACHER “In harmony with Nature?” Restless fool, Who with such heat dost preach what were to thee, When true, the last impossibility– To be like Nature strong, like Nature cool! Know, man hath all which Nature hath, but more, And in that more lie all his hopes of good. Nature is cruel, man […]

“O monstrous, dead, unprofitable world, That thou canst hear, and hearing, hold thy way! A voice oracular hath peal’d to-day, To-day a hero’s banner is unfurl’d; Hast thou no lip for welcome?”–So I said. Man after man, the world smiled and pass’d by; A smile of wistful incredulity As though one spake of life unto […]

Affections, Instincts, Principles, and Powers, Impulse and Reason, Freedom and Control– So men, unravelling God’s harmonious whole, Rend in a thousand shreds this life of ours. Vain labour! Deep and broad, where none may see, Spring the foundations of that shadowy throne Where man’s one nature, queen-like, sits alone, Centred in a majestic unity; And […]

Quiet Work

Story type: Poetry

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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 tranquillity! Of labour, that in lasting fruit outgrows Far noisier schemes, accomplish’d in repose, Too great for haste, too high […]

To A Friend

Story type: Poetry

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Who prop, thou ask’st, in these bad days, my mind?– He much, the old man, who, clearest-soul’d of men, Saw The Wide Prospect, and the Asian Fen,[1] And Tmolus hill, and Smyrna bay, though blind. Much he, whose friendship I not long since won, That halting slave, who in Nicopolis Taught Arrian, when Vespasian’s brutal […]