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

New Poems, 1867

East and West

[First published 1867.]

IN the bare midst of Anglesey they show

Two springs which close by one another play,

And, ‘Thirteen hundred years agone,’ they say,

‘Two saints met often where those waters flow.

‘One came from Penmon, westward, and a glow

‘Whiten’d his face from the sun’s fronting ray.

‘Eastward the other, from the dying day;

‘And he with unsunn’d face did always go.’

Seiriol the Bright, Kybi the Dark, men said.

The Seër from the East was then in light,

The Seër from the West was then in shade.

Ah! now ’tis changed. In conquering sunshine bright

The man of the bold West now comes array’d;

He of the mystic East is touch’d with night.