Immortality

By Matthew Arnold 1822–1888 Matthew Arnold
Foil'd by our fellow-men, depress'd, outworn,
We leave the brutal world to take its way,
And, Patience! in another life, we say
The world shall be thrust down, and we up-borne.

And will not, then, the immortal armies scorn
The world's poor, routed leavings? or will they,
Who fail'd under the heat of this life's day,
Support the fervours of the heavenly morn?

No, no! the energy of life may be
Kept on after the grave, but not begun;
And he who flagg'd not in the earthly strife,

From strength to strength advancing—only he,
His soul well-knit, and all his battles won,
Mounts, and that hardly, to eternal life.

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Poet Matthew Arnold 1822–1888

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

Subjects Faith & Doubt, Religion, Living, Death

Occasions Funerals

Poetic Terms Sonnet

 Matthew  Arnold

Biography

Among the major Victorian writers sharing in a revival of interest and respect in the second half of the twentieth century, Matthew Arnold is unique in that his reputation rests equally upon his poetry and his prose. Only a quarter of his productive life was given to writing poetry, but many of the same values, attitudes, and feelings that are expressed in his poems achieve a fuller or more balanced formulation in his prose. . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Faith & Doubt, Religion, Living, Death

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

Poetic Terms Sonnet

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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