MATTHEW ARNOLD QUOTES

English poet & critic (1822-1888)

Matthew Arnold quote

Change doth unknit the tranquil strength of men.

MATTHEW ARNOLD, "A Question: To Fausta"

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Tags: change


Truth sits upon the lips of dying men.

MATTHEW ARNOLD, "Sohrab and Rustum"

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Tags: truth


We are here on earth to do good to others. What the others are here for, I do not know.

MATTHEW ARNOLD, Essays on Criticism

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Resolve to be thyself: and know, that he
Who finds himself, loses his misery.

MATTHEW ARNOLD, "Self-Dependence"

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Tags: identity


Yet they, believe me, who await
No gifts from Chance, have conquer'd Fate.

MATTHEW ARNOLD, "Resignation"

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Journalism is literature in a hurry.

MATTHEW ARNOLD, attributed, The Mammoth Book of Zingers, Quips, and One-Liners

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Art still has truth. Take refuge there.

MATTHEW ARNOLD, Memorial Verses

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Tags: art


The grand style arises in poetry, when a noble nature, poetically gifted, treats with simplicity or with severity a serious subject.

MATTHEW ARNOLD, On Translating Homer

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The crown of literature is poetry.

MATTHEW ARNOLD, Essays in Criticism, Second Series

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Tags: poetry


With women the heart argues, not the mind.

MATTHEW ARNOLD, Merope

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The difference between genuine poetry and the poetry of Dryden, Pope, and all their school, is briefly this: their poetry is conceived and composed in their wits, genuine poetry is conceived and composed in the soul.

MATTHEW ARNOLD, Essays in Criticism, Second Series

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Tags: poetry


Miracles do not happen.

MATTHEW ARNOLD, preface, Literature and Dogma

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Tags: miracles


The critical power is of lower rank than the creative. True; but in assenting to this proposition, one or two things are to be kept in mind. It is undeniable that the exercise of a creative power, that a free creative activity, is the true function of man; it is proved to be so by man's finding in it his true happiness. But it is undeniable, also, that men may have the sense of exercising this free creative activity in other ways than in producing great works of literature or art; if it were not so, all but a very few men would be shut out from the true happiness of all men; they may have it in well-doing, they may have it in learning, they may have it even in criticizing.

MATTHEW ARNOLD, "The Function of Criticism at the Present Time", Essays

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We count the hours: these dreams of ours, false and hollow,
Shall we go hence and find they are not dead?

MATTHEW ARNOLD, A Question: To Fausta

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Dreams dawn and fly: friends smile and die,
Like spring flowers.
Our vaunted life is one long funeral.
Men dig graves, with bitter tears,
For their dead hopes; and all,
Mazed with doubts, and sick with fears,
Count the hours.

MATTHEW ARNOLD, "A Question: To Fausta"

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What actions are the most excellent? Those, certainly, which most powerfully appeal to the great primary human affections: to those elementary feelings which subsist permanently in the race, and which are independent of time. These feelings are permanent and the same; that which interests them is permanent and the same also.

MATTHEW ARNOLD, preface, Poems

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Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.

MATTHEW ARNOLD, Dover Beach

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Nature, with equal mind,
Sees all her sons at play,
Sees man control the wind,
The wind sweep man away.

MATTHEW ARNOLD, Empedocles on Etna

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The same heart beats in every human breast.

MATTHEW ARNOLD, "The Buried Life"

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Time gives his hour-glass
Its due reversal.
Their hour is gone.

MATTHEW ARNOLD, "Consolation"

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Tags: time