Verse > Matthew Arnold > Poems
Matthew Arnold (1822–88).  The Poems of Matthew Arnold, 1840–1867.  1909.
The Strayed Reveller, and Other Poems
Sonnets: To a Republican Friend
[First published 1849. Reprinted 1853, ’54, ’57.]

GOD 1 knows it, I am with you. If to prize
Those virtues, priz’d and practis’d by too few,
But priz’d, but lov’d, but eminent in you,
Man’s fundamental life: if to despise
The barren optimistic sophistries        5
Of comfortable moles, whom what they do
Teaches the limit of the just and true—
And for such doing have no need of eyes:
If sadness at the long heart-wasting show
Wherein earth’s great ones are disquieted:        10
If thoughts, not idle, while before me flow
The armies of the homeless and unfed:—
  If these are yours, if this is what you are,
  Then am I yours, and what you feel, I share.
Note 1. To a Republican Friend, 1848. Title] i. e. A. H. Clough. date first inserted in 1853. [back]

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