The Scholar Gipsy, stanzas 11–14 and 21–end

Matthew Arnold, read by Alan Brownjohn


The Scholar Gipsy, stanzas 11–14 and 21–end

Matthew Arnold, read by Alan Brownjohn


Poem introduction

Here are two extracts from Arnold's 'The Scholar-Gipsy'. This poem elaborates on a story told by Joseph Glanvill writing in 1661 about a young scholar driven by poverty to abandon his studies in Oxford and join the gypsies living in the nearby countryside. In the first extract Arnold develops the idea that the scholar is somehow immortal and can still be seen in mid-nineteenth-century Oxfordshire. In the second, he urges the young man, if he is indeed still alive, to cherish the different world he has chosen and keep well away from modern life. He compares him to a trader from the ancient city of Tyre seeking escape on the faraway shore of the Atlantic Ocean in Spain.

Take a tour

Roger Stevens's tour

I really enjoyed listening to all the poems in the Archive. It's fantastic to hear poets reading their own work. It...

Take Roger Stevens's tour >