Collections Year Title Prev 1 Next. Read poems by this poet. Read texts about this poet. I feel a nameless sadness o'er me roll. Are even lovers powerless to reveal To one another what indeed they feel? I knew the mass of men conceal'd Their thoughts, for fear that if reveal'd They would by other men be met With blank indifference, or with blame reprov'd; I knew they liv'd and mov'd Trick'd in disguises, alien to the rest Of men, and alien to themselves—and yet The same heart beats in every human breast.
But we, my love—does a like spell benumb Our hearts—our voices? Ah, well for us, if even we, Even for a moment, can get free Our heart, and have our lips unchain'd; For that which seals them hath been deep-ordain'd! Fate, which foresaw How frivolous a baby man would be, By what distractions he would be possess'd, How he would pour himself in every strife, And well-nigh change his own identity; That it might keep from his capricious play His genuine self, and force him to obey, Even in his own despite his being's law, Bade through the deep recesses of our breast The unregarded River of our Life Pursue with indiscernible flow its way; And that we should not see The buried stream, and seem to be Eddying at large in blind uncertainty, Though driving on with it eternally.
But often, in the world's most crowded streets, But often, in the din of strife, There rises an unspeakable desire After the knowledge of our buried life, A thirst to spend our fire and restless force In tracking out our true, original course; A longing to inquire Into the mystery of this heart which beats So wild, so deep in us, to know Whence our lives come and where they go.
T.S. Eliot's response to Matthew Arnold in his early essays
And many a man in his own breast then delves, But deep enough, alas, none ever mines! And we have been on many thousand lines, And we have shown, on each, spirit and power, But hardly have we, for one little hour, Been on our own line, have we been ourselves; Hardly had skill to utter one of all The nameless feelings that course through our breast, But they course on for ever unexpress'd. And long we try in vain to speak and act Our hidden self, and what we say and do Is eloquent, is well—but 'tis not true!
And then we will no more be rack'd With inward striving, and demand Of all the thousand nothings of the hour Their stupefying power; Ah yes, and they benumb us at our call!
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Yet still, from time to time, vague and forlorn, From the soul's subterranean depth upborne As from an infinitely distant land, Come airs, and floating echoes, and convey A melancholy into all our day. The eye sinks inward, and the heart lies plain, And what we mean, we say, and what we would, we know, A man becomes aware of his life's flow, And hears its winding murmur, and he sees The meadows where it glides, the sun, the breeze.
And there arrives a lull in the hot race Wherein he doth for ever chase The flying and elusive shadow, Rest. An air of coolness plays upon his face, And an unwonted calm pervades his breast. And then he thinks he knows The hills where his life rose, And the Sea where it goes. Matthew Arnold Isolation: To Marguerite 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!
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I learn'd— The heart can bind itself alone, And faith may oft be unreturn'd. Self-sway'd our feelings ebb and swell— Thou lov'st no more;—Farewell!
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Yet she, chaste queen, had never proved How vain a thing is mortal love, Wandering in Heaven, far removed. But thou hast long had place to prove This truth—to prove, and make thine own: "Thou hast been, shalt be, art, alone. Of happier men—for they, at least, Have dream'd two human hearts might blend In one, and were through faith released From isolation without end Prolong'd; nor knew, although not less Alone than thou, their loneliness.
Requiescat Strew on her roses, roses, And never a spray of yew. In quiet she reposes: Ah! 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 cabin'd, ample Spirit, It flutter'd and fail'd for breath. To-night it doth inherit The vasty hall of Death. Academy of American Poets Educator Newsletter. Teach This Poem. Follow Us. Included are some useful notes and a number of corrections.
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Six of the Best Matthew Arnold Poems – Interesting Literature
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Matthew Arnold as a Literary Critic
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