English poet Arthur Hugh Clough’s words reflect the power and beauty found in nature and in everyday life. His poems are characterized by religious struggles and a love of beauty in all forms.
Arthur Hugh Clough spent much of his life learning about the world and traveling throughout Europe and America, which gave him a new understanding of the world and his place in it.
“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.” - “Ah! Yet Consider It Again!”
“A world where nothing is had for nothing.” - “The Bothie of Tober-na-Vuolich”
“Where lies the land to which the ship would go?/ Far, far ahead, is all her seamen know./ And where the land she travels from? Away,/ Far, far behind, is all that they can say.” - “Where Lies the Land to Which the Ship Would Go?”
“This world is bad enough maybe; We do not comprehend it; But in one fact can all agree God won't, and we can't mend it.” - “Dipsychus”
“For while the tired waves vainly breaking/ Seem here no painful inch to gain,/ Far back, through creeks and inlets making,/ Comes silent, flooding in, the main.” - “Say Not the Struggle Nought Availeth”
“In front the sun climbs slow, how slowly,/ But westward, look, the land is bright.” - “Say Not the Struggle Nought Availeth”
Arthur Hugh Clough’s poems examine love, loss, life, and everything in between. Essentially, everything that makes people who they are.
“The horrible pleasure of pleasing inferior people.” - Amours de Voyage
“So in the sinful streets, abstracted and alone,/ I with my secret self held communing of mine own.” - “Easter Day II”
“Hope conquers cowardice, joy grief;/ Or at least, faith unbelief.” - “Easter Day II”
“Thy duty do? rejoined the voice,/ Ah, do it, do it, and rejoice;/ But shalt thou then, when all is done,/ Enjoy a love, embrace a beauty/ Like these, that may be seen and won/ In life, whose course will then be run?/ Or wilt thou be where there is none?/ I know not, I will do my duty.” - The Questioning Spirit
“Come back again, old heart! Ah me!/ Methinks in those thy coward fears/ There might, perchance, a courage be,/ That fails in these the manlier years;/ Courage to let the courage sink,/ Itself a coward base to think,/ Rather than not for heavenly light/ Wait on to show the truly right.” - “The Higher Courage”
“What voice did on my spirit fall, Peschiera, when thy bridge I crost?'Tis better to have fought and lost/ Than never to have fought at all!” - Peschiera
“Dance on, dance on, we see, we see/ Youth goes, alack, and with it glee,/ A boy the old man ne’er can be;/ Maternal thirty scarce can find/ The sweet sixteen long left behind.” - “Youth and Age”
‘If hopes were dupes, fears may be liars.” - “Say Not the Struggle Nought Availeth”
“Loving—if the answering breast/ Seem not to be thus possessed,/ Still in hoping have a care;/ If it do, beware, beware!/ But if in yourself you find it,/ Above all things—mind it, mind it!” - “Love, Not Duty”
“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.” - Through a Glass Darkly
Clough wrote extensively about spiritual matters, whether that be belief or disbelief in God, the nature of the universe, or more broadly about the importance of truth and grace.
“No graven images may be/ Worshipped, except the currency.” - “The Latest Decalogue”
“Thou shalt not kill; but needst not strive officiously to keep alive.” - "The Latest Decalogue"
“Grace is given of God, but knowledge is bought in the market;/ Knowledge needful for all, yet cannot be had for the asking.” - “The Bothie of Tober-na-Vuolich”
“Truth is a golden thread, seen here and there/ In small bright specks upon the visible side/ Of our strange being’s party-coloured web.” - “The Thread of Truth”
“And almost every one when age,/ Disease, or sorrows strike him,/ Inclines to think there is a God,/ Or something very like Him.” - “Dipsychus”
“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.” - Poems: With a Memoir
Many poets explore a range of subjects in their poetry, including Arthur Hugh Clough’s friend Ralph Waldo Emerson. Each offers their own unique perspective on the world and everything in it.