by Matthew Arnold (written in 1853) My horse's feet beside the lake, Where sweet the unbroken moonbeams lay, Sent echoes through the night to wake, Each glistening strand, each heath-fringed bay.

The poplar avenue was passed, And the roofed bridge that spans the stream, Up the steep street I hurried fast, Led by thy taper's starlike beam.

I came! I saw thee rise! - the blood Poured flushing to thy languid cheek. Locked in each other's arms we stood, In tears, with hearts too full to speak.

Days flew; ah, soon I could discern A trouble in thine altered air! Thy hand lay languidly in mine, Thy cheek was grave, thy speech grew rare.

I blame thee not! - This heart, I know, To be long loved was never framed, For something in its depths doth glow Too strange, too restless, too untamed.

And women - things that live and move Mined by the fever of the soul - They seek to find in those they love Stern strength, and promise of control.

They ask not kindness, gentle ways - These they themselves have tried and known; They ask a soul which never sways With the blind gusts that shake their own.

I too have felt the load I bore In a too strong emotion's sway; I too have wished, no woman more, This starting, feverish heart away.

I too have longed for trenchant force, And will like a dividing spear; Have praised the keen, unscrupulous course, Which knows no doubt, which feels no fear.

But in the world I learnt, what there Thou too wilt surely one day prove, That will, that energy, though rare, Are yet far, far less rare than love.

Go, then! - till time and fate impress This truth on thee, be mine no more! They will! - for thou, I feel, not less Than I, wast destined to this lore.

We school our manners, act our parts - But He, who sees us through and through Knows that the bent of both our hearts Was to be gentle, tranquil, true.

And though we wear out life, alas! Distracted as a homeless wind, In beating where we must not pass, In seeking what we shall not find;

Yet we shall one day gain, life past, Clear prospect o'er our being's whole; Shall see ourselves, and learn at last Our true affinities of soul.

We shall not then deny a course To every thought the mass ignore; We shall not then call hardness force, Nor lightness wisdom any more.

Then, in the eternal Father's smile, Our soothed, encouraged souls will dare To seem as free from pride and guile, As good, as generous, as they are.

Then we shall know our friends! - though much Will have been lost - the help in strife, The thousand sweet, still joys of such As hand in hand face earthly life -

Though these be lost, there will be yet A sympathy august and pure; Ennobled by a vast regret, And by contrition sealed thrice sure.

And we, whose ways were unlike here, May then more neighbouring courses ply; May to each other be brought near, And greet across infinity.

How sweet, unreached by earthly jars, My sister! to maintain with thee The hush among the shining stars, The calm upon the moonlit sea!

How sweet to feel, on the boon air, All our unquiet pulses cease! To feel that nothing can impair, The gentleness, the thirst for peace -

The gentleness too rudely hurled On this wild earth of hate and fear; The thirst for peace a raving world Would never let us satiate here.

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