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

The Strayed Reveller, and Other Poems

To Fausta

[First published 1849.]

JOY comes and goes: hope ebbs and flows,

Like the wave.

Change doth unknit the tranquil strength of men.

Love lends life a little grace,

A few sad smiles: and then,

Both are laid in cold place,

In the grave.

Dreams dawn and fly: friends smile and die,

Like spring flowers.

Our vaunted life is one long funeral.

Men dig graves, with bitter tears,

For their dead hopes; and all,

Maz’d with doubts, and sick with fears,

Count the hours.

We count the hours: these dreams of ours,

False and hollow,

Shall we go hence and find they are not dead?

Joys we dimly apprehend,

Faces that smil’d and fled,

Hopes born here, and born to end,

Shall we follow?