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Matthew Arnold (1822–88).  The Poems of Matthew Arnold, 1840–1867.  1909.
 
The Strayed Reveller, and Other Poems
Sonnets: To the Duke of Wellington
 
ON HEARING HIM MISPRAISED
[First published 1849.]

BECAUSE thou hast believ’d, the wheels of life
Stand never idle, but go always round:
Not by their hands, who vex the patient ground,
Mov’d only; but by genius, in the strife
Of all its chafing torrents after thaw,        5
Urg’d; and to feed whose movement, spinning sand,
The feeble sons of pleasure set their hand:
And, in this vision of the general law,
Hast labour’d with the foremost, hast become
Laborious, persevering, serious, firm;        10
For this, thy track, across the fretful foam
Of vehement actions without scope or term,
  Call’d History, keeps a splendour: due to wit,
  Which saw one clue to life, and follow’d it.
 
 
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