Poem of the day-38: "Growing Old" by Matthew Arnold

What is it to grow old?
Is it to lose the glory of the form,
The lustre of the eye?
Is it for beauty to forego her wreath?
Yes, but not for this alone.

Is to feel our strength –
Not our bloom only, but our strength – decay?
Is it to feel each limb
Grow stiffer, every function less exact,
Each nerve more weakly strung?

Yes, this, and more! but not,
Ah, ’tis not what in youth we dreamed ‘twouldbe!
‘Tis not to have our life
Mellowed and softened as with sunset-glow,
A golden day’s decline!

‘Tis not to see the world
As from a height, with rapt prophetic eyes,
And heart profoundly stirred;
And weep, and feel the fulness of the past,
The years that are no more!

It is to spend long days
And not once feel that we were ever young.
It is to add, immured
In the hot prison of the present, month
To month with weary pain.

It is to suffer this,
And feel but half, and feebly, what we feel:
Deep in our hidden heart
Festers the dull remembrance of a change,
But no emotion – none.

It is – last stage of all –
When we are frozen up within, and quite
The phantom of ourselves,
To hear the world applaud the hollow ghost
Which blamed the living man.

– Matthew Arnold

Wikipedia article on “MATTHEW ARNOLD”:
Full-text of “CELTIC LITERATURE” by Matthew Arnold from Project Gutenberg:
Full-text of “CULTURE AND ANARCHY” by Matthew Arnold from Project Gutenberg:
Full-text of Matthew Arnold’s Sohrab and Rustum and other Poems from Project Gutenberg:
Full-text of Selections from the Prose Works of Matthew Arnold from Project Gutenberg:
Poems of Matthew Arnold from PoetSeers.org:
Digital Edition of The Letters of Matthew Arnold from the University of Virginia Press:
Full-text of ‘Matthew Arnold’ by D.W.E.Russell from JohnKeats.org:
Grateful thanks to Project Gutenberg, PoetSeers.org, University of Virginia Press, JohnKeats.org and Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.