Youth and Calm

Original Text: 
Matthew Arnold, New Poems (London: Macmillan, 1867). B-10 2583 Fisher Rare Book Library (Toronto).
2And ease from shame, and rest from fear.
3There's nothing can dismarble now
4The smoothness of that limpid brow.
5But is a calm like this, in truth,
6The crowning end of life and youth,
7And when this boon rewards the dead,
8Are all debts paid, has all been said?
9And is the heart of youth so light,
10Its step so firm, its eye so bright,
11Because on its hot brow there blows
12A wind of promise and repose
13From the far grave, to which it goes;
14Because it hath the hope to come,
15One day, to harbour in the tomb?
16Ah no, the bliss youth dreams is one
17For daylight, for the cheerful sun,
18For feeling nerves and living breath--
19Youth dreams a bliss on this side death.
20It dreams a rest, if not more deep,
21More grateful than this marble sleep;
22It hears a voice within it tell:
23Calm's not life's crown, though calm is well.
24'Tis all perhaps which man acquires,
25But 'tis not what our youth desires.


1] First published in this form in New Poems by Matthew Arnold (1867). Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
H. Kerpneck
RPO Edition: 
3RP 3.253.