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

Empedocles on Etna, and Other Poems


[First published 1852. Reprinted 1855.]

THE THOUGHTS that rain their steady glow

Like stars on life’s cold sea,

Which others know, or say they know—

They never shone for me.

Thoughts light, like gleams, my spirit’s sky,

But they will not remain.

They light me once, they hurry by,

And never come again.