To George Cruikshank, Esq.

A poem by Matthew Arnold

Artist, whose hand, with horror wing’d, hath torn
From the rank life of towns this leaf: and flung
The prodigy of full-blown crime among
Valleys and men to middle fortune born,
Not innocent, indeed, yet not forlorn:
Say, what shall calm us, when such guests intrude,
Like comets on the heavenly solitude?
Shall breathless glades, cheer’d by shy Dian’s horn.
Cold-bubbling springs, or caves? Not so! The Soul
Breasts her own griefs: and, urg’d too fiercely, says:
‘Why tremble? True, the nobleness of man
May be by man effac’d: man can control
To pain, to death, the bent of his own days.
Know thou the worst. So much, not more, he can.

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