Another interesting specimen in Mr. Punch's collection is from the pen of Matthew Arnold, one of those mild and meditative poems, unfettered by the tiresome exigencies of rhyme, which must have been so agreeable to write. It is called:—
On Margate Sands.
Still is the sea to-day,
Slow up the beach the tide
Creeps with scarcely a sound,
While through the languorous air,
Heavy, unstirred by the breeze,
Silence broods o’er the scene. And I, too, brood. I pace
Here on the sands and muse
On the probable meaning of Life,
And a question throbs in my brain,
Incessant, ever renewed,
What are you ? What am I?
After all, what is the sea?
And what, after all, is the land?
I know not. Neither do you.
And the souls of us as they strive
To answer questions like these
Stand perplexed and in doubt
And lose the outlook serene,
The grand detachment, the calm,
Which they should strive to attain.
Other parodies from this article
“Lost Masterpieces.” Punch (25 November 1903): 365.
Last modified 4 April 2008