Dover Beach by Matthew Arnold

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Here is Alan Davis-Drake’s reading of Dover Beach by Matthew Arnold from the Librivox catalogue.

Matthew Arnold

And here is the text:

Dover Beach by Matthew Arnold

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 Aegean, 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.

More poetry

~ by lolarusa on February 4, 2007.

3 Responses to “Dover Beach by Matthew Arnold”

  1. “glimmering and vast” – I have a special liking for the word glimmering, Something old and fusty about it, but nice.

    The poem reads like patient beauty; so far from the mad rush of today.

    ggw

  2. Thanks for the very tasteful airing this LibriVox recording. LibriVox is wonderful, friendly source for public domain (free) audio.

  3. Thanks for this post!!!

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