In the poem "Dover Beach," what does Arnold mean by "Ah, love, let us be true To one another!"?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

This line shows the desperation and Arnold's resignation when he realizes everything in this world will fail him.  He has tasted love and hopes that it will be the one thing that will last.  He is pleading with "love" to see the world as he does and to not fail him as the world has.

For comparative purposes, this poem reminds me of the book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible.  King Solomon is the assumed writer of the book and he argues that the world is meaningless without something to shed new light or new meaning on it, "a chasing after the wind."  I think Arnold has the same idea-- that without a requited and meaningful love, everything else in this life is meaningless.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial