I’ve been thinking about this poem lately. It’s really a bleak work (and very modern, despite the year it was written, which was probably around 1851). The subject is the loss of faith. Not a personal loss of faith, but a societal one: Faith. I think the poem can be applied to other related things, too, that have been lost: the values that once held us together as a society and a culture, perhaps?
“Dover Beach” is one of those poems that’s at least somewhat familiar to many people who don’t ordinarily read poetry. YouTube has a surprising number of versions. Here are two I thought to be interesting, for different reasons (I would say “enjoy,” but I’m not sure that’s exactly the right word):