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Poem by Matthew Arnold


The Better Part


Long fed on boundless hopes, O race of man,
How angrily thou spurn'st all simpler fare!
'Christ,' some one says, 'was human as we are;
No judge eyes us from Heaven, our sin to scan;
We live no more when we have done our span.'--
'Well, then, for Christ,' thou answerest, 'who can care?
From sin, which Heaven records not, why forbear?
Live we like brutes our life without a plan!'
So answerest thou; but why not rather say,
'Hath man no second life?--Pitch this one high!
Sits there no judge in Heaven our sin to see?--
More strictly, then, the inward judge obey!
Was Christ a man like us?--Ah! let us try
If we then, too, can be such men as he!' 



Matthew Arnold


Matthew Arnold's other poems:
  1. The Good Shepherd with the Kid
  2. The Strayed Reveller
  3. Saint Brandan
  4. Mycerinus
  5. Worldly Place


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