Fifth in a series of ten sonnets by Matthew Arnold.
208017Written in Butler's Sermons — Sonnets (1849)Matthew Arnold
Affections, Instincts, Principles, and Powers,
Impulse and Reason, Freedom and Control--
So men, unravelling God's harmonious whole,
Rend in a thousand shreds this life of ours.
Vain labour! Deep and broad, where none may see,
Spring the foundations of the shadowy throne
Where man's one Nature, queen-like, sits alone,
Centred in a majestic unity;
And rays her powers, like sister islands, seen
Linking their coral arms under the sea:
Or cluster'd peaks, with plunging gulfs between
Spann'd by aërial arches, all of gold;
Whereo'er the chariot wheels of Life are roll'd
In cloudy circles, to eternity.
This work published before January 1, 1923 is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.