The Strayed Reveller, and Other Poems

To a Republican Friend, 1848


Matthew Arnold

YET, when I muse on what life is, I seem
Rather to patience prompted, than that prowl
Prospect of hope which France proclaims so loud,
France, fam’d in all great arts, in none supreme.
Seeing this Vale, this Earth, whereon we dream,
Is on all sides o’ershadow’d by the high
Uno’erleap’d Mountains of Necessity,
Sparing us narrower margin than we deem.
Nor will that day dawn at a human nod,
When, bursting through the network superpos’d
By selfish occupation—plot and plan,
Lust, avarice, envy—liberated man,
All difference with his fellow man compos’d,
Shall be left standing face to face with God.

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