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

New Poems, 1867

A Picture at Newstead

  • Though the Muse be gone away,
  • Though she move not earth to-day,
  • Souls, erewhile who caught her word,
  • Ah! still harp on what they heard.

  • [First published 1867.]

    WHAT made my heart, at Newstead, fullest swell?—

    ’Twas not the thought of Byron, of his cry

    Stormily sweet, his Titan agony;

    It was the sight of that Lord Arundel

    Who struck, in heat, the child he loved so well,

    And the child’s reason flickered, and did die.

    Painted (he will’d it) in the gallery

    They hang; the picture doth the story tell.

    Behold the stern, mail’d father, staff in hand!

    The little fair-hair’d son, with vacant gaze,

    Where no more lights of sense or knowledge are!

    Methinks the woe which made that father stand

    Baring his dumb remorse to future days,

    Was woe than Byron’s woe more tragic far.