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Dover Beach by Matthew Arnold

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Zachary Zweig

on 8 October 2012

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Transcript of Dover Beach by Matthew Arnold


By Matthew Arnold Facts about Matthew Arnold

British Poet and Cultural Critic who felt that poetry should be the 'criticism of life' and express a philosophy.


"Dover Beach" takes place on the English shore of Dover facing France, across the English channel, where Arnold honeymooned in 1851


Wrote "Dover Beach" in 1867 and it has been quoted in such works as "Fahrenheit 451" by Ray Bradbury. The sea is calm tonight,
The tide is full, the moon lies fair Upon the straits; on the French coast the light
gleams and is gone; the cliff's on English stand, Sophocles long ago Heard it on the Aegean and brought Into his mind the turbid ebb and flow of human misery; we find also in the sound a thought, hearing it by this distant northern sea. The Sea of Faith Come to the window, sweet is the night air! Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay Was once, too, at the full, and round earth's shore Lay like folds of a bright girdle furled But now I only hear its melamcholy, long, withdrawing roar Retreating, to the breath of the night wind Down the vast edges drear and naked shingles of the world Only, From the long line of spray
Where the sea meets the moon-blanched land, Listen! you hear the grating roar
Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling,
At their return, up the high strand,
Begin and cease, and then again begin, With tremulous cadence slow, and bring
The eternal note of sadness in. The sea is calm to-night.
The tide is full and the moon is beautiful.
On the French coast, upon the straits, the light
shines and goes away; the cliffs of England stand;
Glimmering and vast, out in the calm bay.
Come to the window, the night air is sweet!
Only, from the long line of mist
Where the sea meets the land illuminated by the moon,
Listen! Can you hear the harsh roar
Of pebbles that the waves pull in and fling
up the rock face, When the waves come back in.
It Begins, and then ceases, and then again begins,
With a slow and timid tempo and brings
In the eternal note of sadness.

long ago, Sophocles
Heard it on the Agaean, and it brought
in his mind the unclear back and forth
Of human misery; we
Also find a thought in the sounds of the ocean,
Hearing it by the distant northern sea.

The Sea of Faith (faith)
Was once, large and all around the world
It laid like the folds of a bright folded girdle
But now I only hear
Its sad, long, and dwindling strength which
Retreats to the breath
Of the night-wind with the immense sadness
And bare shingles of the world.

Ah, love. Let us be true
To one another! because the world, which seems
To lie in front of us like a land of dreams, which is
So plentiful, beautiful, and new,
Doesn’t really have joy, love, light,
Or certainty. Nor does it have peace, or help for the pain;
And we are here as if on dark land
Overwhelmed with confusing signs of struggle and flight,
Where unknowing armies fight at night.
The sea is calm to-night.
The tide is full, the moon lies fair
Upon the straits; on the French coast the light
Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand;
Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay.
Come to the window, sweet is the night-air!
Only, from the long line of spray
Where the sea meets the moon-blanched land,
Listen! you hear the grating roar
Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling,
At their return, up the high strand,
Begin, and cease, and then again begin,
With tremulous cadence slow, and bring
The eternal note of sadness in.

Sophocles long ago
Heard it on the A gaean, and it brought
Into his mind the turbid ebb and flow
Of human misery; we
Find also in the sound a thought,
Hearing it by this distant northern sea.

The Sea of Faith
Was once, too, at the full, and round earth's shore
Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furled.
But now I only hear
Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,
Retreating, to the breath
Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear
And naked shingles of the world.

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. 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 at night.
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