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

THAT son of Italy who tried to blow, 1
Ere Dante came, the trump of sacred song,
In his light youth amid a festal throng
Sate with his bride to see a public show.
Fair was the bride, and on her front did glow        5
Youth like a star; and what to youth belong,
Gay raiment, sparkling gauds, elation strong.
A prop gave way! crash fell a platform! lo,
Mid struggling sufferers, hurt to death, she lay!
Shuddering they drew her garments off—and found        10
A robe of sackcloth next the smooth, white skin.
Such, poets, is your bride, the Muse! young, gay,
Radiant, adorn’d outside; a hidden ground
Of thought and of austerity within.
Note 1. That son of Italy who tried to blow. Giacopone di Todi. [Arnold.] [back]

Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2015 · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors · World Lit.