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The Last Word
by Matthew Arnold

English poet and critic. His first two volumes of poems The Strayed Reveller and other Poems (1849) and Empedocles on Etna and other Poems (1852) were published anonymously and with little success. He made his mark with his third volume of poetry Poems: A New Edition (1853-54) which contained 'The Scholar Gipsy', 'Sohrab and Rustum', and 'Memorial Verses to Wordsworth'. He reinforced his standing as a poet with New Poems (1867) which included 'Dover Beach' and 'Thyrsis'. He established himself as the leading critic of the age with a number of works including Essays and Criticism (1865, 1888), Culture and Anarchy (1869) and Literature and Dogma (1873).


The Last Word
by Matthew Arnold

Creep into thy narrow bed,
Creep, and let no more be said!
Vain thy onset! all stands fast.
Thou thyself must break at last!

Let the long contention cease!
Geese are swans, and swans are geese.
Let them have it how they will!
Thou art tired; best be still!

They out-talked thee, hissed thee, tore thee?
Better men fared thus before thee;
Fired their ringing shot and passed,
Hotly charged -and sank at last.

Charge once more, then, and be dumb!
Let the victors, when they come,
When thy forts of folly fail,
Find thy body by the wall!


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