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Often rebuked, yet always back returning
To those first feelings that were born with me, And leaving busy chase of wealth and learning
For idle dreams of things which cannot be :
To-day, I will seek not the shadowy region ;
Its unsustaining vastness waxes drear ; And visions rising, legion after legion,
Bring the unreal world too strangely near.
I'll walk, but not in old heroic traces,
And not in paths of high morality,
The clouded forms of long-past history.
I'll walk where my own nature would be leading :
It vexes me to choose another guide :
Where the wild wind blows on the mountain side.
Cold in the earth—and the deep snow piled above thee,
Now, when alone, do my thoughts no longer hover
Cold in the earth—and fifteen wild Decembers,
Sweet Love of youth, forgive, if I forget thee,
THE OLD STOIC.
Riches I hold in light esteem,
And Love I laugh to scorn ;
That vanished with the morn:
And if I pray, the only prayer
That moves my lips for me
And give me liberty !'
Yes, as my swift days near their goal,
'Tis all that I implore ;
With courage to endure.
"O Day! he cannot die
And, with sudden check, the heaving
ARTHUR HUGH CLOUGH.
[Born at Liverpool, Jan. 1, 1819; passed some years of his childhood al Charleston, in Virginia; was at school at Rugby from 1829 to 1837 ; was Scholar of Balliol and afterwards Fellow and Tutor of Oriel; resigned his offices in Oxford in 1848; was Principal of University Hall, London, for a short time afterwards; again went to America; returned in 1853 to take a post in the Education Office. He died at Florence. Nov. 13, 1861. His poems were chiefly written between 1840 and 1850, The Bothie being published in 1848, and many of the shorter poems appearing in a volume called Ambarvalia in the next year.]
“We have a foreboding,' says Mr. Lowell in one of his essays, that Clough, imperfect as he was in many respects, and dying before he had subdued his sensitive temperament to the sterner requirements of his art, will be thought a hundred years hence to have been the truest expression in verse of the moral and intellectual tendencies, the doubt and struggle towards settled convictions, of the period in which he lived. If doubt and struggle were the ruling tendencies of Clough's time, this lofty estimate may well be true; for in no writer of that day are they more vividly reflected. They are the very substance of his verse, they give it strength, they impose upon it the limitations from which it suffers. Clough has never been a popular poet, and it may be doubted if he ever will be. His poetry has too much of the element of conflict, too much uncertainty, ever to become what the best of it ought to become, a household word. But from beginning to end it exhibits that devotion to truth which was in a special degree the characteristic of the finer minds of his epoch; a devotion which in his case was fostered by his early training under Arnold at Rugby, and by the atmosphere of theological controversy in which he found himself at Oxford. The warmth of his feelings, the width of his sympathies, the fineness of his physical sensibilities, made him a