Shakespeare by Matthew Arnold

Others abide our question. Thou art free.
We ask and ask—thou smilest and art still,
Out-topping knowledge. For the loftiest hill,
Who to the stars uncrowns his majesty,

Planting his stedfast footsteps in the sea,
Making the heaven of heavens his dwelling-place,
Spares but the cloudy border of his base
To the foiled searching of mortality;

And thou, who didst the stars and sunbeams know,
Self-schooled, self-scanned, self-honored, self-secure,
Didst tread on earth unguessed at—better so!

All pains the immortal spirit must endure,
All weakness which impairs, all griefs which bow,
Find their sole speech in that victorious brow.

by Matthew Arnold

Other poems by 'Matthew Arnold'

Consolation

The Voice

Sohrab and Rustum

Memorial Verses

East London

Requiescat

The Future

Hayeswater

The Pagan World

Philomela

Search Poems
e.g. love, marriage, kids

Popular poems this week

In Silence We Left

The Lost Dances of Cranes

The Author to her Book

Summer Evening

The Lesson

A chilly Peace infests the Grass

To Mæcenas

You Fit Into Me

mr youse needn't be so spry..

Still I Rise