Matthew Arnold (1822-88) was a fine Victorian poet and critic who also wrote the classic poem ‘Dover Beach’. ‘The Forsaken Merman’ is a less famous poem than that, but it’s an interesting narrative poem about – you guessed it – a merman (or ‘male mermaid’) who is forsaken by his lover.
The Forsaken Merman
Come, dear children, let us away;
Down and away below!
Now my brothers call from the bay,
Now the great winds shoreward blow,
Now the salt tides seaward flow;
Now the wild white horses play,
Champ and chafe and toss in the spray.