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

The Strayed Reveller, and Other Poems

Sonnets: To the Duke of Wellington

[First published 1849.]

BECAUSE thou hast believ’d, the wheels of life

Stand never idle, but go always round:

Not by their hands, who vex the patient ground,

Mov’d only; but by genius, in the strife

Of all its chafing torrents after thaw,

Urg’d; and to feed whose movement, spinning sand,

The feeble sons of pleasure set their hand:

And, in this vision of the general law,

Hast labour’d with the foremost, hast become

Laborious, persevering, serious, firm;

For this, thy track, across the fretful foam

Of vehement actions without scope or term,

Call’d History, keeps a splendour: due to wit,

Which saw one clue to life, and follow’d it.