[Portable Poetry ...poems for your pocket]

HOME

POEMS

CREATE

STUFF

ABOUT

[The book printer - Amman]

Matthew Arnold : Dover Beach

The sea is calm tonight.
The tide is full, the moon lies fair
Upon the straits;—on the French coast the light
Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand,
Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay.
Come to the window, sweet is the night-air!

Only, from the long line of spray
Where the sea meets the moon-blanched land,
Listen! you hear the grating roar
Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling.
At their return, up the high strand,
Begin, and cease, and then again begin,
With tremulous cadence slow, and bring
The eternal note of sadness in.

Sophocles1 long ago
Heard it on the Aegean, and it brought
Into his mind the turbid ebb and flow
Of human misery; we
Find also in the sound a thought,
Hearing it by this distant northern sea.

The Sea of Faith
Was once, too, at the full, and round earth's shore
Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furled.
But now I only hear
Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,
Retreating, to the breath
Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear
And naked shingles of the world.

Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night. 

Matthew Arnold (1822-1888)	p.1867

 
FOOTNOTES
1 Ancient Greek dramatist;
 

If you came here from the main Poems page, the BACK button on your web browser will bring you back there


 

Note 1: When we convert poems to HTML (WEB) format for viewing here, some modifications may occur to the formatting (e.g. indenting) - all poems are correctly formatted for print.

Note 2: if you came to this page following a search engine query, you can find the Portable Poetry home page at www.portablepoetry.com.

Note 3: Feel free to copy these poems and footnotes for your personal and private use. For other uses please get in touch with us first. This poem is believed to be in the public domain. All footnotes are copyright Portable Poetry.