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Best Famous Matthew Arnold Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Matthew Arnold poems. This is a select list of the best famous Matthew Arnold poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Matthew Arnold poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of matthew arnold poems.

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by Edgar Lee Masters | |

John Horace Burleson

  I won the prize essay at school
Here in the village,
And published a novel before I was twenty-five.
I went to the city for themes and to enrich my art; There married the banker’s daughter, And later became president of the bank— Always looking forward to some leisure To write an epic novel of the war.
Meanwhile friend of the great, and lover of letters, And host to Matthew Arnold and to Emerson.
An after dinner speaker, writing essays For local clubs.
At last brought here— My boyhood home, you know— Not even a little tablet in Chicago To keep my name alive.
How great it is to write the single line: “Roll on, thou deep and dark blue Ocean, roll!”


by Matthew Arnold | |

Requiescat

 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 soul was yearning, And now peace laps her round.
Her cabined ample spirit, It fluttered and failed for breath.
Tonight it doth inherit The vasty hall of death.


by Matthew Arnold | |

Quiet Work

 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 repose, 
Too great for haste, too high for rivalry.
Yes, while on earth a thousand discords ring, Man's fitful uproar mingling with his toil, Still do thy sleepless ministers move on, Their glorious tasks in silence perfecting; Still working, blaming still our vain turmoil, Laborers that shall not fail, when man is gone.


by Matthew Arnold | |

To a Republican Friend

 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 just and true-- And for such doing have no need of eyes: If sadness at teh long heart-wasting show Wherein earth's great ones are disquieted: If thoughts, not idle, while before me flow The armies of the homeless and unfed:-- If these are yours, if this is what you are, Then am I yours, and what you feel, I share.


by Matthew Arnold | |

West London

 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 and came back satisfied.
The rich she had let pass with frozen stare.
Thought I: Above her state this spirit towers; She will not ask of aliens, but of friends, Of sharers in a common human fate.
She turns from that cold succour, which attneds The unknown little from the unknowing great, And points us to a better time than ours.


by Matthew Arnold | |

Worldly Place

 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 with a palace, is not this a hell? Even in a palace! On his truth sincere, Who spoke these words, no shadow ever came; And when my ill-school'd spirit is aflame Some nobler, ampler stage of life to win, I'll stop, and say: 'There were no succour here! The aids to noble life are all within.
'


by Matthew Arnold | |

East London

 '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?"— "Bravely!" said he; "for I of late have been Much cheered with thoughts of Christ, the living bread.
" O human soul! as long as thou canst so Set up a mark of everlasting light, Above the howling senses' ebb and flow, To cheer thee, and to right thee if thou roam— Not with lost toil thou labourest through the night! Thou mak'st the heaven thou hop'st indeed thy home.


by Matthew Arnold | |

Hayeswater

 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 torrent cleaves its way: In front the dumb rock rises steep, A fretted wall of blue and grey; Of shooting cliff and crumbled stone With many a wild weed overgrown: All else, black water: and afloat, One rood from shore, that single boat.


by Matthew Arnold | |

To Marguerite

 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, on starry nights, The nightingales divinely sing; And lovely notes, from shore to shore, Across the sounds and channels pour -- Oh! then a longing like despair Is to their farthest caverns sent; For surely once, they feel, we were Parts of a single continent! Now round us spreads the watery plain -- Oh, might our marges meet again! Who ordered, that their longing's fire Should be, as soon as kindled, cooled? Who renders vain their deep desire? -- A god, a god their severance ruled! And bade betwixt their shores to be The unplumbed, salt, estranging sea.


by Matthew Arnold | |

The Song Of Empedocles

 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 mightier order,
The radiant, rejoicing, intelligent Sons of Heaven.
But now, ye kindle Your lonely, cold-shining lights, Unwilling lingerers In the heavenly wilderness, For a younger, ignoble world; And renew, by necessity, Night after night your courses, In echoing, unneared silence, Above a race you know not— Uncaring and undelighted, Without friend and without home; Weary like us, though not Weary with our weariness.


by Matthew Arnold | |

Youth and Calm

 '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 said? And is the heart of youth so light, Its step so firm, its eye so bright, Because on its hot brow there blows A wind of promise and repose From the far grave, to which it goes; Because it hath the hope to come, One day, to harbour in the tomb? Ah no, the bliss youth dreams is one For daylight, for the cheerful sun, For feeling nerves and living breath-- Youth dreams a bliss on this side death.
It dreams a rest, if not more deep, More grateful than this marble sleep; It hears a voice within it tell: Calm's not life's crown, though calm is well.
'Tis all perhaps which man acquires, But 'tis not what our youth desires.


by Matthew Arnold | |

Bacchanalia

 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 from the thyme upon the height, And from the elder-blossom white And pale dog-roses in the hedge, And from the mint-plant in the sedge, In puffs of balm the night-air blows The perfume which the day forgoes.
And on the pure horizon far, See, pulsing with the first-born star, The liquid sky above the hill! The evening comes, the fields are still.


by Matthew Arnold | |

To A Friend

 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 Arrian, when Vespasian's brutal son Cleared Rome of what most shamed him.
But be his My special thanks, whose even-balanced soul, From first youth tested up to extreme old age, Business could not make dull, nor passion wild; Who saw life steadily, and saw it whole; The mellow glory of the Attic stage, Singer of sweet Colonus, and its child.


by Matthew Arnold | |

Longing

 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 cam'st in sooth, Come now, and let me dream it truth, And part my hair, and kiss my brow, And say, My love why sufferest thou? 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.


by Matthew Arnold | |

The Last Word

 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 thee? Better men fared thus before thee; Fired their ringing shot and passed, Hotly charged —and sank at last.
Charge once more, then, and be dumb! Let the victors, when they come, When thy forts of folly fail, Find thy body by the wall!