Изображения страниц


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,
And not among the half-distinguished faces,

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 grey flocks in ferny glens are feeding;

Where the wild wind blows on the mountain side.


Cold in the earth—and the deep snow piled above thee,
Far, far removed, cold in the dreary grave !
Have I forgot, my only Love, to love thee,
Severed at last by Time's all-severing wave ?

Now, when alone, do my thoughts no longer hover
Over the mountains, on that northern shore,
Resting their wings where heath and fern-leaves cover
Thy noble heart for ever, ever more?

Cold in the earth—and fifteen wild Decembers,
Fri n those brown hills, have melted into spring:
Faithful, indeed, is the spirit that remembers
After such years of change and suffering !

Sweet Love of youth, forgive, if I forget thee,
While the world's tide is bearing me along ;
Other desires and other hopes beset me,
Hopes which obscure, but cannot do thee wrong!
No later light has lightened up my heaven,
No second morn has ever shone for me ;
All my life's bliss from thy dear life was given,
All my life's bliss is in the grave with thee.
But, when the days of golden dreams had perished,
And even Despair was powerless to destroy ;
Then did I learn how existence could be cherished,
Strengthened, and fed without the aid of joy.
Then did I check the tears of useless passion-
Weaned my young soul from yearning after thine ;
Sternly denied its burning wish to hasten
Down to that tomb already more than mine.
And, even yet, I dare not let it languish,
Dare not indulge in memory's rapturous pain ;
Once drinking deep of that divinest anguish,
How could I seek the empty world again?


Riches I hold in light esteem,

And Love I laugh to scorn ;
And lust of fame was but a dream,

That vanished with the morn:

And if I pray, the only prayer

That moves my lips for me
Is, ‘Leave the heart that now I bear,

And give me liberty !'

Yes, as my swift days near their goal,

'Tis all that I implore ;
In life and death, a chainless soul,

With courage to endure.


"O Day! he cannot die
When thou so fair art shining!
O Sun, in such a glorious sky,
So tranquilly declining;
He cannot leave thee now,
While fresh west winds are blowing,
And all around his youthful brow
Thy cheerful light is glowing !
Edward, awake, awake-
The golden evening gleams
Warm and bright on Arden's lake
Arouse thee from thy dreams !
Beside thee, on my knee,
My dearest friend, I pray
That thou, to cross the eternal sea,
Wouldst yet one hour delay :
I hear its billows roar-
I see them foaming high;
But no glimpse of a further shore
Has blest my straining eye.
Believe not what they urge
Of Eden isles beyond ;
Turn back, from that tempestuous surge,
To thy own native land.
It is not death, but pain
That struggles in thy breast-
Nay, rally, Edward, rouse again ;
I cannot let thee rest!'
One long look, that sore reproved me
For the woe I could not bear-
One mute look of suffering moved me
To repent my useless prayer :

And, with sudden check, the heaving
Of distraction passed away ;
Not a sign of further grieving
Stirred my soul that awful day.
Paled, at length, the sweet sun setting :
Sunk to peace the twilight breeze :
Summer dews fell softly, wetting
Glen, and glade, and silent trees.
Then his eyes began to weary,
Weighed beneath a mortal sleep;
And their orbs grew strangely dreary,
Clouded, even as they would weep.
But they wept not, but they changed not,
Never moved, and never closed ;
Troubled still, and still they ranged not
Wandered not, nor yet reposed !
So I knew that he was dying-
Stooped, and raised his languid head;
Feit no breath, and heard no sighing.
Su I knew that be was dead.


[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

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »