Matthew Arnold, looking over
The Channel from the cliffs of Dover,
Scanned with his telescope almost
The whole French coast
As far as Étretat,
And was upon the point of saying “Ah,”
When he perceived, not far from the great Aiguille,
A lobster led on a leash beside the sea.
It was Nerval, enjoying his vacances!
Alas for gravitas! Hélas for France!
Having of late been panicky
About culture and anarchy,
Arnold now left in a hurry,
Foreseeing a night of worry.
Richard Wilbur, poet