Verse > Matthew Arnold > Poems
Matthew Arnold (1822–88).  The Poems of Matthew Arnold, 1840–1867.  1909.
New Poems, 1867
[First published 1867.]

LONG fed on boundless hopes, O race of man,
How angrily thou spurn’st all simpler fare!
Christ, some one says, was human as we are;
No judge eyes us from heaven, our sin to scan;
We line no more, when we have done our span.        5
‘Well, then, for Christ’, thou answerest, ‘who can care?
‘From sin, which heaven records not, why forbear?
‘Live we like brutes our life without a plan!’
So answerest thou; but why not rather say:
‘Hath man no second life?—Pitch this one high!        10
‘Sits there no judge in heaven, our sin to see?—
‘More strictly, then, the inward judge obey!
‘Was Christ a man like us?—Ah! let us try
‘If we then, too, can be such men as he!’

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