To Marguerite

By Matthew Arnold


YES: in the sea of life enisled,
         With echoing straits between us thrown.
Dotting the shoreless watery wild,
         We mortal millions live alone.
The islands feel the enclasping flow,
And then their endless bounds they know.

But when the moon their hollows lights,
         And they are swept by balms of spring,
And in their glens, on starry nights,
         The nightingales divinely sing;
And lovely notes, from shore to shore,
Across the sounds and channels pour;

O then a longing like despair
         Is to their farthest caverns sent!
For surely once, they feel, we were
         Parts of a single continent.
Now round us spreads the watery plain--
O might our marges meet again!

Who order'd that their longing's fire
         Should be, as soon as kindled, cool'd?
Who renders vain their deep desire?--
         A God, a God their severance ruled;
And bade betwixt their shores to be
The unplumb'd, salt, estranging sea.

DayPoems Poem No. 698
<a href="">To Marguerite by Matthew Arnold</a>

The DayPoems Poetry Collection,
Timothy Bovee, editor

Poets  Poems