Matthew Arnold


English Poet, Essayist and Cultural Critic

Author Quotes

Up the still, glistening beaches, up the creeks we will lie, over banks of bright seaweed the ebb-tide leaves dry. We will gaze, from the sand-hills, at the white, sleeping town; at the church on the hill-side?and then come back down. Singing: There dwells a loved one, but cruel is she! She left lonely for ever the kings of the sea.

What actions are the most excellent? Those, certainly, which most powerfully appeal to the great primary human affections: to those elementary feelings which subsist permanently in the race, and which are independent of time. These feelings are permanent and the same; that which interests them is permanent and the same also.

Who saw life steadily, and saw it whole: The mellow glory of the Attic stage.

Use your gifts faithfully, and they shall be enlarged; practice what you know, and you shall attain to higher knowledge.

What is it to grow old? Is it to lose the glory of the form, The lustre of the eye? Is it for Beauty to forego her wreath? Yes; but not this alone.

Why faintest thou! I wander?d till I died. Roam on! The light we sought is shining still. Dost thou ask proof? Our tree yet crowns the hill, our Scholar travels yet the loved hillside.

Waiting for the spark from heaven to fall.

What is the course of the life of mortal men on the earth?? Most men eddy about here and there?eat and drink, chatter and love and hate, gather and squander, are raised aloft, are hurl?d in the dust, striving blindly, achieving nothing; and, then they die?Perish; and no one asks who or what they have been, more than he asks what waves in the moonlit solitudes mild of the midmost Ocean, have swell?d, foam?d for a moment, and gone.

With aching hands and bleeding feet we dig and heap, lay stone on stone; we bear the burden and the heat of the long day, and wish 'twere done. Not till the hours of light return all we have built do we discern.

Wandering between two worlds, one dead the other powerless to be born, with nowhere yet to rest my head like these, on earth I wait forlorn.

What really dissatisfies in American civilization is the want of the interesting, a want due chiefly to the want of those two great elements of the interesting, which are elevation and beauty.

With close-lipp'd Patience for our only friend, Sad Patience, too near neighbor to Despair.

We are here on earth to do good to others. What the others are here for, I do not know.

What shelter to grow ripe is ours? What leisure to grow wise?

With its sick hurry, its divided aims.

We cannot kindle when we will the fire that in the heart resides, the spirit bloweth and is still, in mystery our soul abides; ? But tasks, in hours of insight willed, can be through hours of gloom fulfilled.

What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly.

With women the heart argues, not the mind.

We cannot kindle when we will The fire which in the heart resides, The spirit bloweth and is still, In mystery our soul abides: But tasks in hours of insight will'd Can be through hours of gloom fulfill'd.

What then remains, but that we still should cry not to be born, or being born to die.

Without poetry our science will appear incomplete, and most of what now passes with us for religion and philosophy will be replaced by poetry.

We count the hours: these dreams of ours, false and hollow, shall we go hence and find they are not dead?

What thwarts us and demands of us the greatest effort is also what can teach us most.

Without some strong motive to the contrary, men united by the pursuit of a clearly defined common aim of irresistible attractiveness naturally coalesce; and since they coalesce naturally, they are clearly right in coalescing and find their advantage in it.

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.

Author Picture
First Name
Last Name
Birth Date
Death Date

English Poet, Essayist and Cultural Critic