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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.
The Library of the World’s Best Literature. An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

To a Friend

By Matthew Arnold (1822–1888)

WHO prop, thou ask’st, in these bad days, my mind?—

He much, the old man, who, clearest-souled of men,

Saw The Wide Prospect, and the Asian Fen,

And Tmolus hill, and Smyrna bay, though blind.

Much he, whose friendship I not long since won,

That halting slave, who in Nicopolis

Taught Arrian, when Vespasian’s brutal son

Cleared Rome of what most shamed him. But he his

My special thanks, whose even-balanced soul,

From first youth tested up to extreme old age,

Business could not make dull, nor passion wild;

Who saw life steadily, and saw it whole;

The mellow glory of the Attic stage,

Singer of sweet Colonus, and its child.