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

Empedocles on Etna, and Other Poems

The Lake

[First published 1852. Reprinted 1853, ’54, ’57.]

AGAIN I see my bliss at hand;

The town, the lake are here.

My Marguerite smiles upon the strand

Unalter’d with the year.

I know that graceful figure fair,

That cheek of languid hue;

I know that soft enkerchief’d hair,

And those sweet eyes of blue.

Again I spring to make my choice;

Again in tones of ire

I hear a God’s tremendous voice—

‘Be counsell’d, and retire!’

Ye guiding Powers, who join and part,

What would ye have with me?

Ah, warn some more ambitious heart,

And let the peaceful be!