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

New Poems, 1867

Monica’s Last Prayer

[First published 1867.]

‘OH could thy grave at home, at Carthage, be!’—

Care not for that, and lay me where I fall.

Everywhere heard will be the judgement-call.

But at God’s altar, oh! remember me.

Thus Monica, and died in Italy.

Yet fervent had her longing been, through all

Her course, for home at last, and burial

With her own husband, by the Libyan sea.

Had been; but at the end, to her pure soul

All tie with all beside seem’d vain and cheap,

And union before God the only care.

Creeds pass, rites change, no altar standeth whole;

Yet we her memory, as she pray’d, will keep,

Keep by this: Life in God, and union there!