Matthew Arnold


English Poet, Essayist and Cultural Critic

Author Quotes

We do not what we ought; What we ought not, we do; And lean upon the thought That chance will bring us through; But our own acts, for good or ill, are mightier powers.

When Byron's eyes were shut in death, We bow'd our head and held our breath. He taught us little; but our soul Had felt his like a thunder roll. . . . We watch'd the fount of fiery life Which serv'd for that Titanic life.

Wordsworth has gone from us ? and ye, ah, may ye feel his voice as we! He too upon a wintry clime had fallen ? on this iron time of doubts, disputes, distractions, fears.

We forget because we must and not because we will.

When we first saw the news of the bombing we didn't know he was out there [in Bali],

Years hence, perhaps, may dawn an age, More fortunate, alas! than we, Which without hardness will be sage, And gay without frivolity.

We mortal millions live alone.

Where great whales come sailing by, sail and sail, with unshut eye, round the world for ever and aye? When did music come this way? Children dear, was it yesterday?

Yes! in the sea of life enisled, With echoing straits between us thrown, Dotting the shoreless watery wild, We mortal millions live alone.

We should conceive of poetry worthily, and more highly than it has been the custom to conceive of it. We should conceive of it as capable of higher uses, and called to higher destinies, than those which in general men have assigned to it hitherto. More and more mankind will discover that we have to turn to poetry to interpret life for us, to console us, to sustain us.

Wherever there is cupidity, there the blessing of the Gospel cannot rest. The actual poor, therefore, may altogether fail to be objects of that blessing, the actual rich may be the objects of it in the highest degree.

Yes, thou art gone! and round me too the night in ever-nearing circle weaves her shade. I see her veil draw soft across the day, I feel her slowly chilling breath invade the cheek grown thin, the brown hair sprent with grey; I feel her finger light

We, in some unknown Power's employ, move on a rigorous line; can neither, when we will, enjoy, nor, when we will, resign.

Whispering from her [Oxford's] towers the last enchantments of the Middle Age...Home of lost causes, and forsaken beliefs, and unpopular names, and impossible loyalties!

Yet they, believe me, who await no gifts from Chance, have conquer'd Fate.

Truth illuminates and gives joy; and it is by the bond of joy, not of pleasure, that men's spirits are indissolubly held.

We, peopling the void air, make Gods to whom to impute the ills we ought to bear; with God and Fate to rail at, suffering easily.

Who hesitate and falter life away, and lose tomorrow the ground won today.

You will be out of the lives of free people everywhere. Your face will be off the coins and with that, your arrogant, undue influence. Everywhere. ... Everywhere. .. Every. ...

Truth sits upon the lips of dying men, and falsehood, while I lived, was far from mine.

Weary of myself, and sick of asking What I am, and what I ought to be, At this vessel's prow I stand, which bears me Forwards, forwards, o'er the starlit sea.

Who ordered, that their longing's fire Should be, as soon as kindled, cooled? Who renders vain their deep desire?? A God, a God their severance ruled! And bade betwixt their shores to be The unplumbed, salt, estranging sea.

Youth dreams a bliss on this side of death. It dreams a rest, if not more deep, More grateful than this marble sleep; It hears a voice within it tell: Calm's not life's crown, though calm is well. 'Tis all perhaps which man acquires, But 'tis not what our youth desires.

Unquiet souls. In the dark fermentation of earth, in the never idle workshop of nature, in the eternal movement, yea shall find yourselves again.

Weep bitterly over the dead, for he is worthy, and then comfort thyself; drive heaviness away: thou shall not do him good, but hurt thyself.

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English Poet, Essayist and Cultural Critic