The Strayed Reveller, and Other Poems

Written in Emerson’s Essays

Matthew Arnold

‘O MONSTROUS, dead, unprofitable world,
That thou canst hear, and hearing, hold thy way.
A voice oracular hath peal’d to-day,
To-day a hero’s banner is unfurl’d.
Hast thou no lip for welcome?’ So I said.
Man after man, the world smil’d and pass’d by:
A smile of wistful incredulity
As though one spike of noise unto the dead:
Scornful, and strange, and sorrowful; and full
Of bitter knowledge. Yet the Will is free:
Strong is the Soul, and wise, and beautiful:
The seeds of godlike power are in us still:
Gods are we, Bards, Saints, Heroes, if we will.—
    Dumb judges, answer, truth or mockery?

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