Matthew Arnold

(1822-1888 / Middlesex / England)

Isolation: To Marguerite - Poem by Matthew Arnold

We were apart; yet, day by day,
I bade my heart more constant be.
I bade it keep the world away,
And grow a home for only thee;
Nor fear'd but thy love likewise grew,
Like mine, each day, more tried, more true.

The fault was grave! I might have known,
What far too soon, alas! I learn'd--
The heart can bind itself alone,
And faith may oft be unreturn'd.
Self-sway'd our feelings ebb and swell--
Thou lov'st no more;--Farewell! Farewell!

Farewell!--and thou, thou lonely heart,
Which never yet without remorse
Even for a moment didst depart
From thy remote and spher{`e}d course
To haunt the place where passions reign--
Back to thy solitude again!

Back! with the conscious thrill of shame
Which Luna felt, that summer-night,
Flash through her pure immortal frame,
When she forsook the starry height
To hang over Endymion's sleep
Upon the pine-grown Latmian steep.

Yet she, chaste queen, had never proved
How vain a thing is mortal love,
Wandering in Heaven, far removed.
But thou hast long had place to prove
This truth--to prove, and make thine own:
'Thou hast been, shalt be, art, alone.'

Or, if not quite alone, yet they
Which touch thee are unmating things--
Ocean and clouds and night and day;
Lorn autumns and triumphant springs;
And life, and others' joy and pain,
And love, if love, of happier men.

Of happier men--for they, at least,
Have dream'd two human hearts might blend
In one, and were through faith released
From isolation without end
Prolong'd; nor knew, although not less
Alone than thou, their loneliness.


Comments about Isolation: To Marguerite by Matthew Arnold

There is no comment submitted by members..



Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Read poems about / on: farewell, isolation, faith, alone, solitude, lonely, ocean, summer, truth, sleep, dream, fear, joy, heaven, home, pain, night, heart, love, world



Poem Submitted: Sunday, May 6, 2001

Poem Edited: Sunday, May 6, 2001


Famous Poems

  1. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  5. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  6. Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  7. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  8. Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep
    Mary Elizabeth Frye
  9. I Do Not Love You Except Because I Love You
    Pablo Neruda
  10. Television
    Roald Dahl
[Report Error]