The poetical works of Matthew Arnold/Youth and Calm

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YOUTH AND CALM.

'Tis death! and peace indeed is here,
And ease from shame, and rest from fear
There's nothing can dismarble now
The smoothness of that limpid brow.
But is a calm like this, in truth,
The crowning end of life and youth?
And when this boon rewards the dead,
Are all debts paid, has all been said?
And is the heart of youth so light,
Its step so firm, its eye so bright,
Because on its hot brow there blows
A wind of promise and repose
From the far grave, to which it goes;
Because it has the hope to come,
One day, to harbor in the tomb?
Ah, no! the bliss youth dreams is one
For daylight, for the cheerful sun,
For feeling nerves and living breath;
Youth dreams a bliss on this side death
It dreams a rest, if not more deep,
More grateful than this marble sleep;
It hears a voice within it tell,—
Calm's not life's crown, though calm is well
'Tis all, perhaps, which man acquires,
But 'tis not what our youth desires.