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Matthew Arnold (1822–88). The Poems of Matthew Arnold, 1840–1867. 1909.

Sonnet to the Hungarian Nation


[First published in The Examiner, July 21, 1849; not reprinted by the author.]

NOT in sunk Spain’s prolong’d death agony;

Not in rich England, bent but to make pour

The flood of the world’s commerce on her shore;

Not in that madhouse, France, from whence the cry

Afflicts grave Heaven with its long senseless roar;

Not in American vulgarity,

Nor wordy German imbecility—

Lies any hope of heroism more.

Hungarians! Save the world! Renew the stories

Of men who against hope repell’d the chain,

And make the world’s dead spirit leap again!

On land renew that Greek exploit, whose glories

Hallow the Salaminian promontories,

And the Armada flung to the fierce main.