Matthew Arnold


English Poet, Essayist and Cultural Critic

Author Quotes

And amongst us one, who most has suffer'd, takes dejectedly his seat upon the intellectual throne.

Beautiful city! . . . Spreading her gardens to the moonlight, and whispering from her towers the last enchantments of the Middle Age . . . her ineffable charm. . . . Adorable dreamer, whose heart has been so romantic!

Children dear, was it yesterday (Call yet once) that she went away?

Culture is a study of perfection.

For eager teachers seized my youth, pruned my faith and trimmed my fire. Showed me the high, white star of truth, there bade me gaze and there aspire.

God's Wisdom and God's Goodness! ? Ah, but fools Mis-define thee, till God knows them no more. Wisdom and goodness they are God! ? What schools have yet so much as heard this simpler lore. This no Saint preaches, and this no Church rules: 'Tis in the desert, now and heretofore.

Her cabin?d, ample Spirit, it flutter?d and fail?d for breath. To-night it doth inherit the vasty Hall of Death.

I met a preacher there I knew, and said, Ill and overworked, how fare you in this scene? Bravely! said he; for I of late have been Much cheered with thoughts of Christ, the living bread.

It is a very great thing to be able to think as you like; but, after all, an important question remains: what you think.

Listen! you hear the grating roar Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling, At their return, up the high strand, Begin, and cease, and then again begin, With tremulous cadence slow, and bring The eternal note of sadness in. Sophocles long ago Heard it on the Aegean.

Not a having and a resting, but a growing and a becoming is the character of perfection as culture conceives it.

One thing only has been lent to youth and age in common - discontent.

Poetry is simply the most beautiful, impressive, and widely effective mode of saying things.

Six years-six little years-six drops of time.

The bloom is gone, and with the bloom go I.

The heart less bounding at emotion new, The hope, once crushed, less quick to spring again.

The pursuit of perfection, then, is the pursuit of sweetness and light. He who works for sweetness and light, works to make reason and the will of God prevail. He who works for machinery, he who works for hatred, works only for confusion. Culture looks beyond machinery, culture hates hatred; culture has one great passion, the passion for sweetness and light.

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!

Thou hast no right to bliss.

Too quick despairer, wherefore wilt thou go? Soon will the high midsummer pomps come on.

And as long as the world lasts, all who want to make progress in righteousness will come to Israel for inspiration, as to the people who have had the sense for righteousness most glowing and strongest; and in hearing and reading the words Israel has uttered for us, carers for conduct will find a glow and a force they could find nowhere else.

Because thou must not dream, thou need not despair.

Children of men! the unseen Power, whose eye Forever doth accompany mankind, Hath look'd on no religion scornfully That men did ever find.

Culture is properly described as the love of perfection; it is a study of perfection.

For poetry the idea is everything; the rest is a world of illusion, of divine illusion. Poetry attaches its emotion to the idea; the idea is the fact. The strongest part of our religion today is its unconscious poetry.

Author Picture
First Name
Last Name
Birth Date
Death Date

English Poet, Essayist and Cultural Critic