Matthew Arnold

Written in Emerson’s Essays

“O monstrous, dead, unprofitable world,
That thou canst hear, and hearing hold thy way!
A voice oracular hath pealed to-day,
To-day a hero’s banner is unfurled;

Hast thou no lip for welcome?”--So I said.
Man after man, the world smiled and passed by;
A smile of wistful incredulity,
As though one spake of life unto the dead,--

Scornful, and strange, and sorrowful, and full
Of bitter knowledge. Yet the will is free;
Strong is the soul, and wise, and beautiful;

The seeds of godlike power are in us still;
Gods are we, bards, saints, heroes, if we will!--
Dumb judges, answer, truth or mockery?

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