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From the Hymn of Empedocles

Written by: Matthew Arnold | Biography
 | Quotes (42) |
 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,
And relegate to worlds yet distant our repose?

Not much, I know, you prize
What pleasures may be had,
Who look on life with eyes
Estranged, like mine, and sad:
And yet the village churl feels the truth more than you;

Who 's loth to leave this life
Which to him little yields:
His hard-task'd sunburnt wife,
His often-labour'd fields;
The boors with whom he talk'd, the country spots he knew.
But thou, because thou hear'st Men scoff at Heaven and Fate; Because the gods thou fear'st Fail to make blest thy state, Tremblest, and wilt not dare to trust the joys there are.
I say, Fear not! life still Leaves human effort scope.
But, since life teems with ill, Nurse no extravagant hope.
Because thou must not dream, thou need'st not then despair.



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