Matthew Arnold

(1822-1888 / Middlesex / England)

Requiescat - Poem by Matthew Arnold

Strew on her roses, roses,
And never a spray of yew!
In quiet she reposes;
Ah, would that I did too!

Her mirth the world required;
She bathed it in smiles of glee.
But her heart was tired, tired,
And now they let her be.

Her life was turning, turning,
In mazes of heat and sound.
But for peace her soul was yearning,
And now peace laps her round.

Her cabin'd, ample spirit,
It flutter'd and fail'd for breath.
To-night it doth inherit
The vasty hall of death.


Comments about Requiescat by Matthew Arnold

  • Susan Williams (1/8/2016 3:45:00 PM)


    In Latin, the title Requiescat means May She Rest. Most critics say it is written about a woman. But I read one critic recently who brought up a couple of facts that might change the reader's mind about that. This poem was written after Matthew's 9 year old sister died. Apparently he was close to her and thought of her as a happy child who lit up the world with her personality. He grieved for his little sister and often went to her grave and grieved. (Report) Reply

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Read poems about / on: peace, death, world, night, heart, life, rose, smile



Poem Submitted: Sunday, May 6, 2001

Poem Edited: Sunday, May 6, 2001


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