On a Darkling Plain – “Dover Beach” by Matthew Arnold

A favourite poem of mine – “Dover Beach”, by Matthew Arnold – courtesy of Margaret Langstaff.

Margaret Langstaff

I stumbled on this wonderful old poem today and was wracked  once more by its beauty – in structure, meter, image, theme, everything in the poetics toolkit-so masterfully melded, pulled together, so plaintively and  profoundly phrased,no wonder that it’s a poem emeritus in the canon of English verse.

Perhaps you will appreciate it too.

Dover Beach

By Matthew Arnold

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 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…

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One thought on “On a Darkling Plain – “Dover Beach” by Matthew Arnold

  1. gravbeast Post author

    Arnold saw a God-less universe as empty, without meaning – I have to say that I don’t see it that way; it seems to me that I that I see a universe full of life & energy, thick with it – almost dizzyingly so. Perhaps, though, these things take a century or so’s getting used to.

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