Matthew Arnold

(1822-1888 / Middlesex / England)


Foil'd by our fellow-men, depress'd, outworn,
We leave the brutal world to take its way,
And, Patience! in another life, we say
The world shall be thrust down, and we up-borne.

And will not, then, the immortal armies scorn
The world's poor, routed leavings? or will they,
Who fail'd under the heat of this life's day,
Support the fervours of the heavenly morn?

No, no! the energy of life may be
Kept on after the grave, but not begun;
And he who flagg'd not in the earthly strife,

From strength to strength advancing--only he,
His soul well-knit, and all his battles won,
Mounts, and that hardly, to eternal life.

Submitted: Sunday, May 06, 2001
Edited: Sunday, May 06, 2001

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Comments about this poem (Immortality by Matthew Arnold )

  • Rookie - 24 Points Macanthony Chijioke Nwatu (9/7/2013 5:28:00 PM)

    For sure! The energy of the human race is inexhaustible. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Carlos Echeverria (9/7/2012 10:56:00 AM)

    Anything worth having
    Must be earned
    In heaven
    or on Earth. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Carlos Echeverria (9/7/2012 10:55:00 AM)

    Anything worth having
    Must be earned
    In heaven
    or on Earth. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Carlos Echeverria (9/7/2012 10:32:00 AM)

    Anything worth having, must be earned,
    In heaven or Earth. (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 13,881 Points * Sunprincess * (9/7/2012 10:21:00 AM)

    Wow what a one sided view of immortality! I am not in agreement with all battles won to advance on.
    I believe the peacemakers are the only ones to advance on into immortality and earn the keys to Heaven. :) (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 7 Points Udiah Witness to YAH (9/7/2012 5:56:00 AM)

    Arnold questions warfare and its accomplishments. One should question such, whether we are battling a legitimate enemy or not. But, to doubt a creator? Each individual is entitled to their belief. That's the reason for this test the Bible states. All the prophets up until Christ prophecized of His coming. Who was The Christ? God in flesh, showing us that He too would willingly subject Himself to the same test as we would be given. As He lived so shall we try ourselves to live, but we fall short everytime, thus repentence, to get back up and give it another go. The choice be to the individual as to whether to believe or not. In the end all non-believers will be able to parte' in the place of their choice, for a few seconds before they disappear forever, never to be remembered again, thus they want, so they get, final death (what a lovely ending) . We should all strive to live together, but one side loves to force their will upon all Christians, I think they should live in Siberia, it's a lovely place I hear. Aquarius dawns soon (blessings poured out) , fall, winter or spring, who cares? Length of time, who cares? Each individual passes on anyway and says OMG! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie id Rather Notsay (1/4/2012 8:58:00 AM)

    Yup that's why Jesus (pbuh) was born on Earth...He was a prophet in order to warn the Children of Israel and to give them news of Heaven and Hell. He wasn't God. God sent him as a messenger. Jesus (pbuh) confirmed the messages of the prophets before him; he didn't change its consistency. God can not be man because God is too glorious for that. Think. (Report) Reply

  • Freshman - 585 Points Ramesh T A (9/7/2010 2:56:00 AM)

    This world life is for those who face problems to solve for the better and not for the worn out souls; The capable persons of this world only can enjoy eternal life! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Bro Bytte (12/27/2009 9:38:00 PM)

    We cannot achieve heaven alone. There is no getting to heaven by the 'skin of our teeth.' Humans along are not good enough. That is why Jesus came to the earth. He was perfect and he died for us, to make up for our imperfections. If we try our hardest to be like him, even though we don't come close, he will take us the rest of the way to Heaven. I know that. It's not an opinion, it's a fact. If you want to know for yourself just pray to God. I promise you he will answer. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie saltedpeanut blank (9/7/2009 11:45:00 PM)

    personally I think it reminds me of Norse mythology with only the brave souls in battle who have resolve to fight to the end for what they believe or their lively hood and die in battle. Of course I don't suppose I should give any one a history on the Valkyrie that take the souls of these men to Valhalla. I mean either that or the crusades fought in the medieval ages were both sides claimed they had a holy right to Jerusalem, and yes the crusaders we know now were mostly driven by money, but I don't think that would have been what Arnold learned of at any university of that time what with the subject of any corruption within the church such a touchy subject even hundreds of years later. I guess I'm trying to say Arnold died a while ago and I don't think he could be talking about the current war on terror, but rather the heroic Templar knights or maybe viking warriors. I mean that's just my thought on the subject take it how you want. (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 34,295 Points Frank James Ryan Jr...fjr (9/7/2009 5:34:00 PM)

    As usual, fellow members, Mr.''look at me''Pruchniki has his literary interpretations as skewed-up as he does his handle on modern day history! Unless i've been reading the wrong newaspapers, speaking to the wrong politicians or watching the wrong wars, (live, on CNN, no less) ....It is not today's Christians who go to War for God, or for an alleged guaranteed ticket to Paradise Hereafter.
    BTW: An excellent poem by a quantumly talented wordsmith, one Matthew Arnold.

    FjR (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Michael Pruchnicki (9/7/2009 4:14:00 PM)

    Let's see now - Ravi tells us that the poet Matthew Arnold is not concerned with the subject of his sonnet 'Immortality, ' that 'such dreams in no way harm the world'! Straw asserts that 'Immortality' in no way comports with the Sermon on the Mount, which ignores all the advice in the Sermon to 'give alms in secrecy, ' to not pray like the hypocrites with many meaningless words, and to perform religious duties where only God may see!

    It seems to me that Arnold takes a page from Christ's Sermon to warn the reader in the final lines of the sestet that at best to gain salvation just barely by the skin of one's teeth requires all the goodness one can muster in a lifetime of striving to reach the peak of one's goal - immortality in the eyes of God! Pagans do not have the same desire as a Christian who girds his loins and engages in daily combat for the glory of God! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 13 Points Ravi A (9/7/2009 1:44:00 PM)

    Whether we have a life hereafterwards or not, let us live in grace and dignity in this life. This is all we can do. The rest will be decided by time. Heaven is a wishful thinking to maintain continuity of this mortal world. Man needs such dreams to keep low of the fear of death. It is a mindset. Nobody has come back from death to tell us about heaven. If people need the dream about heaven for their mental existence, let them have it. Such dreams in no way harm the world. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Yodit Mussie (9/7/2009 11:47:00 AM)

    its nice poem i really really love it (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Yodit Mussie (9/7/2009 11:47:00 AM)

    its nice poem i really really love it (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Yodit Mussie (9/7/2009 11:47:00 AM)

    its nice poem i really really love it (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Yodit Mussie (9/7/2009 11:47:00 AM)

    its nice poem i really really love it (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Kevin Straw (9/7/2009 6:16:00 AM)

    This view of heaven does not agree with the Sermon on the Mount in which the poor in spirit, they that mourn, the meek etc will be rewarded in the afterlife. This view of life as a kind of wrestling match with a 'brutal' world seems to me pagan rather than Christian. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Mo. (9/7/2007 1:29:00 AM)

    Powerful Words! (Report) Reply

Read all 19 comments »

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