Stanzas by Matthew Arnold


I saw him sensitive in frame,
I knew his spirits low;
And wish’d him health, success, and fame–
I do not wish it now.

For these are all their own reward,
And leave no good behind;
They try us, oftenest make us hard,
Less modest, pure, and kind.

Alas! yet to the suffering man,
In this his mortal state,
Friends could not give what fortune can–
Health, ease, a heart elate.

But he is now by fortune foil’d
No more; and we retain
The memory of a man unspoil’d,
Sweet, generous, and humane–

With all the fortunate have not,
With gentle voice and brow.
–Alive, we would have changed his lot,
We would not change it now.

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