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How to Write a Like Matthew Arnold

by Newdigate Prizeman
Take one soulful of involuntary unbelief, which has been previously well flavored with self-satisfied despair. Add to this one beautiful text of Scripture. Mix these well together; and as soon as ebullition commences grate in finely a few regretful allusions to the New Testament and the lake of Tiberias, one constellation of stars, half-a-dozen allusions to the nineteenth century, one to Goethe, one to Mont Blanc, or the Lake of Geneva; and one also, if possible, to some personal bereavement. Flavour the whole with a mouthful of "faiths" and "infinites," and a mixed mouthful of "passions," "finites," and "yearnings." This class of poem is concluded usually with some question, about which we have to observe only that it shall be impossible to answer.