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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
Self-Dependence
By Matthew Arnold (1822–1888)
 
WEARY of myself, and sick of asking
  What I am, and what I ought to be,
At this vessel’s prow I stand, which bears me
  Forwards, forwards, o’er the starlit sea.
 
And a look of passionate desire        5
  O’er the sea and to the stars I send:
“Ye who from my childhood up have calmed me,
  Calm me, ah, compose me to the end!
 
“Ah, once more,” I cried, “ye stars, ye waters,
  On my heart your mighty charm renew;        10
Still, still let me, as I gaze upon you,
  Feel my soul becoming vast like you.”
 
From the intense, clear, star-sown vault of heaven,
  Over the lit sea’s unquiet way,
In the rustling night-air came the answer:—        15
  “Wouldst thou be as these are? Live as they.
 
“Unaffrighted by the silence round them,
  Undistracted by the sights they see,
These demand not that the things without them
  Yield them love, amusement, sympathy.        20
 
“And with joy the stars perform their shining,
  And the sea its long moon-silvered roll;
For self-poised they live, nor pine with noting
  All the fever of some differing soul.
 
“Bounded by themselves, and unregardful        25
  In what state God’s other works may be,
In their own tasks all their powers pouring,
  These attain the mighty life you see.”
 
O air-born voice! long since, severely clear,
  A cry like thine in mine own heart I hear:—        30
“Resolve to be thyself; and know that he
  Who finds himself, loses his misery!”
 
 
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