″Dover Beach″ coming from Portable Literature: Reading, Reacting, Writing By Laurie G. Kirszner; Stephen R. Mandell MATTHEW ARNOLD (1822–1888) Dover Beach (1867) The sea is calm tonight. 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.5 Come to the window, sweet is the night-air! Only, from the long line of spray Where the sea meets the moon-blanched1 land, Listen! you hear the grating roar Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling,10 At their return, up the high strand,2 Begin, and cease, and then again begin, With tremulous cadence slow, and bring The eternal note of sadness in. Sophocles3 long ago15 Heard it on the Aegean,4 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.20 The Sea of Faith Was once, too, at the full, and round earth’s shore Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furled. But now I only hear Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,25 Retreating, to the breath Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear And naked shingles5 of the world. 1moon-blanched: Whitened by moonlight. 2strand: Beach. 3Sophocles: Greek playwright (496–406 B.C.), author of tragedies such as Oedipus the King and Antigone. 4Aegean: Sea between Greece and Turkey. 5shingles: Gravel beaches.