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Poem by Matthew Arnold
Austerity of Poetry
That son of Italy who tried to blow, Ere Dante came, the trump of sacred song, In his light youth amid a festal throng Sate with his bride to see a public show. Fair was the bride, and on her front did glow Youth like a star; and what to youth belong-- Gay raiment, sparkling gauds, elation strong. A prop gave way! crash fell a platform! lo, 'Mid struggling sufferers, hurt to death, she lay! Shuddering, they drew her garments off--and found A robe of sackcloth next the smooth, white skin. Such, poets, is your bride, the Muse! young, gay, Radiant, adorn'd outside; a hidden ground Of thought and of austerity within.
Matthew Arnold's other poems:
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