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.
POEMS BY MATTHEW ARNOLD
|"Horatian Echo" is reprinted from Poetical Works of Matthew Arnold. Matthew Arnold. London: Macmillan and Co., 1905.