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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. Not reprinted by the author.]

WHY each is striving, from of old,

To love more deeply than he can?

Still would be true, yet still grows cold?

—Ask of the Powers that sport with man!

They yok’d in him, for endless strife,

A heart of ice, a soul of fire;

And hurl’d him on the Field of Life,

An aimless unallay’d Desire.