by: Matthew Arnold (1822-1888)

      mit, 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 swell that shouldering herd.
      Mourn will we not your closing hour,
      Ye imbeciles in present power,
      Doom'd, pompous, and absurd!

      And let us bear, that they debate
      Of all the engine-work of state,
      Of commerce, laws, and policy,
      The secrets of the world's machine,
      And what the rights of man may mean,
      With readier tongue than we.

      Only, that with no finer art
      They cloak the troubles of the heart
      With pleasant smile, let us take care;
      Nor with a lighter hand dispose
      Fresh garlands of this dewy rose,
      To crown Eugenia's hair.

      Of little threads our life is spun,
      And he spins ill, who misses one.
      But is thy fair Eugenia cold?
      Yet Helen had an equal grace,
      And Juliet's was as fair a face,
      And now their years are told.

      The day approaches, when we must
      Be crumbling bones and windy dust;
      And scorn us as our mistress may,
      Her beauty will no better be
      Than the poor face she slights in thee,
      When dawns that day, that day.

"Horatian Echo" is reprinted from Poetical Works of Matthew Arnold. Matthew Arnold. London: Macmillan and Co., 1905.




[ A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z ]

Home · Poetry Store · Links · Email · © 2002 Poetry-Archive.com