Lines Written in Kensington Gardens

Original Text: 
Matthew Arnold, Empedocles on Etna, and Other Poems (London: B. Fellowes, 1852). B-11 2384 Fisher Rare Book Library (Toronto).
2Screen'd by deep boughs on either hand;
3And at its end, to stay the eye,
4Those black-crown'd, red-boled pine-trees stand!
5Birds here make song, each bird has his,
6Across the girdling city's hum.
7How green under the boughs it is!
8How thick the tremulous sheep-cries come!
9Sometimes a child will cross the glade
10To take his nurse his broken toy;
11Sometimes a thrush flit overhead
12Deep in her unknown day's employ.
13Here at my feet what wonders pass,
14What endless, active life is here!
15What blowing daisies, fragrant grass!
16An air-stirr'd forest, fresh and clear.
17Scarce fresher is the mountain-sod
18Where the tired angler lies, stretch'd out,
19And, eased of basket and of rod,
20Counts his day's spoil, the spotted trout.
21In the huge world, which roars hard by,
22Be others happy if they can!
23But in my helpless cradle I
24Was breathed on by the rural Pan.
25I, on men's impious uproar hurl'd,
26Think often, as I hear them rave,
27That peace has left the upper world
28And now keeps only in the grave.
29Yet here is peace for ever new!
30When I who watch them am away,
31Still all things in this glade go through
32The changes of their quiet day.
33Then to their happy rest they pass!
34The flowers upclose, the birds are fed,
35The night comes down upon the grass,
36The child sleeps warmly in his bed.
37Calm soul of all things! make it mine
38To feel, amid the city's jar,
39That there abides a peace of thine,
40Man did not make, and cannot mar.
41The will to neither strive nor cry,
42The power to feel with others give!
43Calm, calm me more! nor let me die
44Before I have begun to live.


1] First published in Empedocles on Etna,etc. (1852). Kensington Gardens is in London and forms a continuation of Hyde Park on the west. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
H. Kerpneck
RPO Edition: 
3RP 3.208.