Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895
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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895.  1895.
 
Written in Emerson’s Essays
 
Matthew Arnold (1822–88)
 
 
“O MONSTROUS, dead, unprofitable world,
That thou canst hear, and hearing, hold thy way!
A voice oracular hath peal’d to-day,
To-day a hero’s banner is unfurl’d;
Hast thou no lip for welcome?”—So I said.        5
Man after man, the world smil’d and pass’d 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;        10
Strong is the soul, and wise, and beautiful;
The seeds of god-like power are in us still;
Gods are we, bards, saints, heroes, if we will!—
Dumb judges, answer, truth or mockery?
 

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