Matthew Arnold

(1822-1888 / Middlesex / England)

Hayeswater


A region desolate and wild.
Black, chafing water: and afloat,
And lonely as a truant child
In a waste wood, a single boat:
No mast, no sails are set thereon;
It moves, but never moveth on:
And welters like a human thing
Amid the wild waves weltering.

Behind, a buried vale doth sleep,
Far down the torrent cleaves its way:
In front the dumb rock rises steep,
A fretted wall of blue and grey;
Of shooting cliff and crumbled stone
With many a wild weed overgrown:
All else, black water: and afloat,
One rood from shore, that single boat.

Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002

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  • Ian Fraser (3/31/2011 12:18:00 AM)

    Arnold is one of the most troubling of the Victorian writers because he sees a world in which he expects to find meaning and finds none. This is not merely a fine piece of landscape poetry but a restless existentialist image. (Report) Reply

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