Matthew Arnold Quotes

Resolve to be thyself: and know, that he who finds himself, loses his misery.

Matthew Arnold (Self-Dependance, 1853)

Spare me the whispering, crowded room, the friends who come and gape and go, the ceremonious air of gloom - all, which makes death a hideous show. 

Matthew Arnold (Quoted in the Poetical Works of Matthew Arnold)

The freethinking of one age is the common sense of the next.

Matthew Arnold (God and the Bible, 1875)

Use your gifts faithfully, and they shall be enlarged; practice what you know, and you shall attain to higher knowledge. 

Matthew Arnold

Poetry is simply the most beautiful, impressive, and widely effective mode of saying things.

Matthew Arnold (Essays in Criticism, 1865)

But often, in the world’s most crowded streets, 
But often, in the din of strife, 
There rises an unspeakable desire 
After the knowledge of our buried life; 
A thirst to spend our fire and restless force 
In tracking out our true, original course; 
A longing to inquire 
Into the mystery of this heart which beats 
So wild, so deep in us - to know 
Whence our lives come and where they go.

Matthew Arnold (The Buried Life, 1852)

To have the sense of creative activity is the great happiness and the great proof of being alive. 

Matthew Arnold (Essays in Criticism, 1865)

Life is not a having and a getting, but a being and a becoming.

Matthew Arnold

Waiting for the spark from heaven to fall.

Matthew Arnold

It is the last stage of all,
When we are frozen up within, and quite
The phantom of ourselves,
To hear the world applaud the hollow ghost
Which blamed the living man.

Matthew Arnold (Growing Old, 1867)

Journalism is literature in a hurry.

Matthew Arnold

Unquiet souls. In the dark fermentation of earth, in the never idle workshop of nature, in the eternal movement, yea shall find yourselves again.

Matthew Arnold (Quoted in the Poetical Works of Matthew Arnold)

The beginning is always today.

Matthew Arnold

What actions are the most excellent? Those, certainly, which most powerfully appeal to the great primary human affections: to those elementary feelings which subsist permanently in the race, and which are independent of time.

Matthew Arnold (Quoted in The Poems of Matthew Arnold 1840 to 1867, 2004)

Alas! is even love too weak
To unlock the heart, and let it speak?

Matthew Arnold (The Buried Life, 1852)

Radiant with ardour divine!
Beacons of Hope ye appear!
Languor is not in your heart,
Weakness is not in your word,
Weariness not on your brow.

Matthew Arnold (Rugby Chapel, 1867)

Miracles do not happen.

Matthew Arnold (Literature and Dogma - Preface)

Yet they, believe me, who await
No gifts from Chance, have conquered Fate.

Matthew Arnold (Resignation, 1849)

The pursuit of perfection, then, is the pursuit of sweetness and light.

Matthew Arnold (Culture and Anarchy, 1869)

The need of expansion is as genuine an instinct in man as the need in a plant for the light, or the need in man himself for going upright. The love of liberty is simply the instinct in man for expansion. 

Matthew Arnold (Quoted in The Complete Prose Works of Matthew Arnold, 1972)

Nature, with equal mind,
Sees all her sons at play,
Sees man control the wind,
The wind sweep man away.

Matthew Arnold (Empedocles on Etna, 1852)

Ah, love, let us be true 
To one another! for the world, which seems 
To lie before us like a land of dreams, 
So various, so beautiful, so new, 
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,   
  Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain; 
And we are here as on a darkling plain 
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight, 
Where ignorant armies clash by night.

Matthew Arnold (Dover Beach, 1867)

Wandering between two worlds, one dead,
The other powerless to be born.

Matthew Arnold

Not deep the poet sees, but wide.

Matthew Arnold (Resignation, 1849)

Weep bitterly over the dead, for he is worthy, and then comfort thyself; drive heaviness away: thou shall not do him good, but hurt thyself.

Matthew Arnold (Matthew Arnold's Notebooks, 1902)

The will is free;
Strong is the soul, and wise, and beautiful;
The seeds of god-like power are in us still;
Gods are we, bards, saints, heroes, if we will!

Matthew Arnold (Written in Emerson's Essays, 1849)

The true meaning of religion is thus, not simply morality, but morality touched by emotion.

Matthew Arnold (Literature and Dogma - Preface, 1883)

Culture, the acquainting ourselves with the best that has been known and said in the world, and thus with the history of the human spirit.

Matthew Arnold

This strange disease of modern life, with its sick hurry, its divided aims.

Matthew Arnold (The Scholar Gipsy, 1853)

Truth sits upon the lips of dying men.

Matthew Arnold (Sohrab and Rustum, 1853)

All the biblical miracles will at last disappear with the progress of science.

Matthew Arnold

Matthew Arnold Biography

Born: December 24, 1822
Died: April 15, 1888

Matthew Arnold was an English poet and writer. He is often regarded as a great Victorian poet, during his time and still to this day.


Notable Works

The Scholar Gipsy (1853)
On Translating Homer
Dover Beach (1867)
Culture and Anarchy (1869)