Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. V. Browning to Rupert Brooke
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Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. V. Browning to Rupert Brooke
 
Shakespeare
By Matthew Arnold (1822–1888)
 
OTHERS abide our question. Thou art free.
We ask and ask—Thou smilest and art still,
Out-topping knowledge. For the loftiest hill,
Who to the stars uncrowns his majesty,
 
Planting his steadfast footsteps in the sea,        5
Making the heaven of heavens his dwelling-place,
Spares but the cloudy border of his base
To the foil’d searching of mortality;
 
And thou, who didst the stars and sunbeams know,
Self-school’d, self-scann’d, self-honour’d, self-secure,        10
Didst tread on earth unguess’d at.—Better so!
 
All pains the immortal spirit must endure,
All weakness which impairs, all griefs which bow,
Find their sole speech in that victorious brow.
 
 
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