To Marguerite: Continued

Original Text: 
Matthew Arnold, Empedocles on Etna, and Other Poems (London: B. Fellowes, 1852). B-11 2384 Fisher Rare Book Library (Toronto).
2With echoing straits between us thrown,
3Dotting the shoreless watery wild,
4We mortal millions live alone.
5The islands feel the enclasping flow,
6And then their endless bounds they know.
7But when the moon their hollows lights,
8And they are swept by balms of spring,
9And in their glens, on starry nights,
10The nightingales divinely sing;
11And lovely notes, from shore to shore,
12Across the sounds and channels pour--
13Oh! then a longing like despair
14Is to their farthest caverns sent;
15For surely once, they feel, we were
16Parts of a single continent!
17Now round us spreads the watery plain--
18Oh might our marges meet again!
19Who order'd, that their longing's fire
20Should be, as soon as kindled, cool'd?
21Who renders vain their deep desire?--
22A God, a God their severance ruled!
23And bade betwixt their shores to be
24The unplumb'd, salt, estranging sea.


1] First published in Empedocles on Etna, etc. (1852), with the title, To Marguerite, in Returning a Volume of the Letters of Ortis. In the 1857 volume and in later collected editions it is printed as a second part of Isolation, as in this text. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
H. Kerpneck
RPO Edition: 
3RP 3.247.