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

The Strayed Reveller, and Other Poems


[First published 1849. Reprinted 1855.]

THOU, who dost dwell alone—

Thou, who dost know thine own—

Thou, to whom all are known

From the cradle to the grave—

Save, oh, save.

From the world’s temptations,

From tribulations;

From that fierce anguish

Wherein we languish;

From that torpor deep

Wherein we lie asleep,

Heavy as death, cold as the grave;

Save, oh, save.

When the Soul, growing clearer,

Sees God no nearer:

When the Soul, mounting higher,

To God comes no nigher:

But the arch-fiend Pride

Mounts at her side,

Foiling her high emprize,

Sealing her eagle eyes,

And, when she fain would soar,

Makes idols to adore;

Changing the pure emotion

Of her high devotion,

To a skin-deep sense

Of her own eloquence:

Strong to deceive, strong to enslave—

Save, oh, save.

From the ingrain’d fashion

Of this earthly nature

That mars thy creature.

From grief, that is but passion;

From mirth, that is but feigning;

From tears, that bring no healing;

From wild and weak complaining;

Thine old strength revealing,

Save, oh, save.

From doubt, where all is double:

Where wise men are not strong:

Where comfort turns to trouble:

Where just men suffer wrong:

Where sorrow treads on joy:

Where sweet things soonest cloy:

Where faiths are built on dust:

Where Love is half mistrust,

Hungry, and barren, and sharp as the sea;

Oh, set us free.

O let the false dream fly

Where our sick souls do lie

Tossing continually.

O where thy voice doth come

Let all doubts be dumb:

Let all words be mild:

All strifes be reconcil’d:

All pains beguil’d.

Light bring no blindness;

Love no unkindness;

Knowledge no ruin;

Fear no undoing.

From the cradle to tho grave.

Save, oh, save.