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Best Famous Arthur Hugh Clough Poems


Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Arthur Hugh Clough poems. This is a select list of the best famous Arthur Hugh Clough poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Arthur Hugh Clough poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of Arthur Hugh Clough poems.

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by Arthur Hugh Clough |

The Last Decalogue

 Thou shalt have one God only;—who
Would be at the expense of two?
No graven images may be
Worshipped, except the currency:
Swear not at all; for, for thy curse
Thine enemy is none the worse:
At church on Sunday to attend
Will serve to keep the world thy friend:
Honour thy parents; that is, all
From whom advancement may befall:
Thou shalt not kill; but need'st not strive
Officiously to keep alive:
Do not adultery commit;
Advantage rarely comes of it:
Thou shalt not steal; an empty feat,
When 'tis so lucrative to cheat:
Bear not false witness; let the lie
Have time on its own wings to fly:
Thou shalt not covet, but tradition
Approves all forms of competition.


by Arthur Hugh Clough |

To Spend Uncounted Years Of Pain

 To spend uncounted years of pain
Again, again, and yet again
In working out in heart and brain
The problem of our being here,
To gather facts from far and near
Upon the mind to hold them clear,
And knowing more may yet appear
Until one's latest breath to fear
The premature result to draw - 
Is this the object, end, and law,
And purpose of our being here?


by Arthur Hugh Clough |

Through a Glass Darkly

 What we, when face to face we see
The Father of our souls, shall be,
John tells us, doth not yet appear;
Ah! did he tell what we are here!

A mind for thoughts to pass into,
A heart for loves to travel through,
Five senses to detect things near,
Is this the whole that we are here?

Rules baffle instincts--instinct rules,
Wise men are bad--and good are fools,
Facts evil--wishes vain appear,
We cannot go, why are we here?

O may we for assurance's sake,
Some arbitrary judgement take,
And wilfully pronounce it clear,
For this or that 'tis we are here?

Or is it right, and will it do,
To pace the sad confusion through,
And say:--It doth not yet appear,
What we shall be, what we are here?

Ah yet, when all is thought and said,
The heart still overrules the head;
Still what we hope we must believe,
And what is given us receive;

Must still believe, for still we hope
That in a world of larger scope,
What here is faithfully begun
Will be completed, not undone.

My child, we still must think, when we
That ampler life together see,
Some true result will yet appear
Of what we are, together, here.


by Arthur Hugh Clough |

The Thread of Truth

 Truth is a golden thread, seen here and there
In small bright specks upon the visible side
Of our strange being's parti-coloured web.
How rich the universe! 'Tis a vein of ore
Emerging now and then on Earth's rude breast,
But flowing full below. Like islands set
At distant intervals on Ocean's face,
We see it on our course; but in the depths
The mystic colonnade unbroken keeps
Its faithful way, invisible but sure.
Oh, if it be so, wherefore do we men
Pass by so many marks, so little heeding?


by Arthur Hugh Clough |

Across the Sea Along the Shore

 Across the sea, along the shore,
In numbers more and ever more,
From lonely hut and busy town,
The valley through, the mountain down,
What was it ye went out to see,
Ye silly folk Galilee?
The reed that in the wind doth shake?
The weed that washes in the lake?
The reeds that waver, the weeds that float?
A young man preaching in a boat.
What was it ye went out to hear
By sea and land from far and near?
A teacher? Rather seek the feet
Of those who sit in Moses' seat.
Go humbly seek, and bow to them,
Far off in great Jerusalem.
From them that in her courts ye saw,
Her perfect doctors of the law,
What is it came ye here to note?
A young man preaching in a boat.

A prophet! Boys and women weak!
Declare, or cease to rave;
Whence is it he hath learned to speak?
Say, who his doctrine gave?
A prophet? Prophet wherefore he
Of all in Israel tribes?
He teacheth with authority,
And not as do the Scribes.


by Arthur Hugh Clough |

How In All Wonder...

 How in all wonder Columbus got over,
That is a marvel to me, I protest,
Cabot, and Raleigh too, that well-read rover,
Frobisher, Dampier, Drake and the rest.
Bad enough all the same,
For them that after came,
But, in great Heaven's name,
How he should ever think
That on the other brink
Of this huge waste terra firma should be,
Is a pure wonder, I must say, to me.

How a man ever should hope to get thither,
E'e'n if he knew of there being another side;
But to suppose he should come any whither,
Sailing right on into chaos untried,
Across the whole ocean,
In spite of the motion,
To stick to the notion
That in some nook or bend
Of a sea without end
He should find North and South Amerikee,
Was a pure madness as it seems to me.

What if wise men had, as far back as Ptolemy,
Judged that the earth like an orange was round,
None of them ever said, 'Come along, follow,
Sail to the West, and the East will be found.'
Many a day before
Ever they'd touched the shore
Of the San Salvador,
Sadder and wiser men
They'd have turned back again;
And that he did not, but did cross the sea,
Is a pure wonder, I must say, to me.
And that he crossed and that we cross the sea
Is a pure wonder, I must say, to me.


by Arthur Hugh Clough |

Qua Cursum Ventus

 As ships, becalmed at eve, that lay
With canvas drooping, side by side,
Two towers of sail at dawn of day
Are scarce long leagues apart descried;

When fell the night, upsprung the breeze,
And all the darkling hours they plied,
Nor dreamt but each the selfsame seas
By each was cleaving, side by side:

E'en so—but why the tale reveal
Of those, whom year by year unchanged,
Brief absence joined anew to feel,
Astounded, soul from soul estranged?

At dead of night their sails were filled,
And onward each rejoicing steered— 
Ah, neither blame, for neither willed,
Or wist, what first with dawn appeared!

To veer, how vain! On, onward strain,
Brave barks! In light, in darkness too,
Through winds and tides one compass guides— 
To that, and your own selves, be true.

But O blithe breeze! and O great seas,
Though ne'er, that earliset parting past,
On your wide plain they join again,
Together lead them home at last.

One port, methought, alike they sought,
One purpose hold where'er they fare,— 
O bounding breeze, O rushing seas!
At last, at last, unite them there!


by Arthur Hugh Clough |

With Whom is no Variableness Neither Shadow of Turning

 It fortifies my soul to know
That, though I perish, Truth is so:
That, howsoe'er I stray and range,
Whate'er I do, Thou dost not change.
I steadier step when I recall
That, if I slip, Thou dost not fall.


by Arthur Hugh Clough |

Ye Flags of Picadilly

 Ye flags of Piccadilly,
Where I posted up and down,
And wished myself so often
Well away from you and town--

Are the people walking quietly
And steady on their feet,
Cabs and omnibuses plying
Just as usual in the street?

Do the houses look as upright
As of old they used to be,
And does nothing seem affected
By the pitching of the sea?

Through the Green Park iron railings
Do the quick pedestrians pass?
Are the little children playing
Round the plane-tree in the grass?

This squally wild northwester
With which our vessel fights,
Does it merely serve with you to
Carry up some paper kites?

Ye flags of Piccadilly,
Which I hated so, I vow
I could wish with all my heart
You were underneath me now!


by Arthur Hugh Clough |

Ah! Yet Consider it Again!

 "Old things need not be therefore true,"
O brother men, nor yet the new;
Ah! still awhile the old thought retain,
And yet consider it again!

The souls of now two thousand years
Have laid up here their toils and tears,
And all the earnings of their pain,--
Ah, yet consider it again!

We! what do we see? each a space
Of some few yards before his face;
Does that the whole wide plan explain?
Ah, yet consider it again!

Alas! the great world goes its way,
And takes its truth from each new day;
They do not quit, nor can retain,
Far less consider it again.