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Consolation Analysis

Author: poem of Matthew Arnold Type: poem Views: 42

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Mist clogs the sunshine.

Smoky dwarf houses

Hem me round everywhere;

A vague dejection

Weighs down my soul.

Yet, while I languish,

Everywhere countless

Prospects unroll themselves,

And countless beings

Pass countless moods.

Far hence, in Asia,

On the smooth convent-roofs,

On the gilt terraces,

Of holy Lassa,

Bright shines the sun.

Grey time-worn marbles

Hold the pure Muses;

In their cool gallery,

By yellow Tiber,

They still look fair.

Strange unloved uproar

Shrills round their portal;

Yet not on Helicon

Kept they more cloudless

Their noble calm.

Through sun-proof alleys

In a lone, sand-hemmed

City of Africa,

A blind, led beggar,

Age-bowed, asks alms.

No bolder robber

Erst abode ambushed

Deep in the sandy waste;

No clearer eyesight

Spied prey afar.

Saharan sand-winds

Seared his keen eyeballs;

Spent is the spoil he won.

For him the present

Holds only pain.

Two young fair lovers,

Where the warm June-wind,

Fresh from the summer fields,

Plays fondly round them,

Stand, tranced in joy.

With sweet joined voices,

And with eyes brimming:

"Ah," they cry "Destiny,

Prolong the present!

Time, stand still here!"

The prompt stern Goddess

Shakes her head, frowning;

Time gives his hour-glass

Its due reversal;

Their hour is gone.

With weak indulgence

Did the just Goddess

Lengthen their happiness,

She lengthened also

Distress elsewhere.

The hour, whose happy

Unalloyed moments

I would eternalize,

Ten thousand mourners

Well pleased see end.

The bleak stern hour,

Whose severe moments

I would annihilate,

Is passed by others

In warmth, light, joy.

Time, so complained of,

Who to no one man

Shows partiality,

Brings round to all men

Some undimmed hours.


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