Posted by: anna | January 15, 2010

East and West

Matthew Arnold’s slightly confused-to-make-a-point poem about the meetings of SS Cybi and Seiriol:

In the bare midst of Anglesey they show
Two springs which close by one another play;
And, “Thirteen hundred years agone,” they say,
“Two saints met often where those waters flow.

“One came from Penmon westward, and a glow
Whiten’d his face from the sun’s fronting ray;
Eastward the other, from the dying day,
And he with unsunn’d face did always go.”

‘Seiriol the Bright, Kybi the Dark!’ men said.
The seer from the East was then in light,
The seer from the West was then in shade.

Ah! now ’tis changed. In conquering sunshine bright
The man of the bold West now comes array’d;
He of the mystic East is touch’d with night.

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