Friday, April 30, 2010

Once more unto the beach dear friends, once more.

The sea is calm to-night,
The tide is full, the moon lies fair
Upon the straits; -- on the French coast the light
Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand,
Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay.
Come to the window, sweet is the night-air!
Only, from the long line of spray
Where the sea meets the moon-blanch'd land,
Listen! you hear the grating roar
Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling,
At their return, up the high strand,
Begin, and cease, and then again begin,
With tremulous cadence slow, and bring
The eternal note of sadness in.

Sophocles long ago
Heard it on the Aegean, and it brought
Into his mind the turbid ebb and flow
Of human misery; we
Find also in the sound a thought,
Hearing it by this distant northern sea.
The sea of faith
Was once, too, at the full, and round earth's shore
Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furl'd.
But now I only hear
Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,
Retreating, to the breath
Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear
And naked shingles of the world.

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.

English beaches really are crap.


Kettle said...

One of my favourite poems of all time.

Any particular reason for the re-post, Ramon?

'Tis a very good re-post.

Kettle said...

On second thoughts, maybe not a re-post? I had a book of Arnold's poems in the bathroom for about six months; I could be melding the bloggy world with the real one.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

I think you're confusing the bloggy world with the real one again, Kettle.

You should really lay off the sauce before noon.

Kettle said...

But it's Friday, Ramon.

squib said...


I went to an English beach once. Depressing! It reminded me of Williamstown Beach

Cath said...

Nice work Ramon.. very evocative. I particularly like;

But now I only hear
Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,

I don't really like beaches and find them all a bit melancholy - so this hits home for me.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

I like beaches but only to the extent of walking along them on stormy days.

And if there's a pub near-by, then so much the better.

eat my shorts said...

English beaches really are crap.

You'll get no argument from me on that one.