Tuesday, October 20, 2009

When you’re feeling outnumbered or all alone or ready to give up

I recommend reading this poem by the nineteenth-century English poet, Arthur Hugh Clough (1819 - 1861):

Say Not The Struggle Naught Availeth
by the nineteenth-century English poet, Arthur Hugh Clough (1819 - 1861)

Say not the struggle naught availeth,
The labour and the wounds are vain,
The enemy faints not, nor faileth,
And as things have been they remain.

If hopes were dupes, fears may be liars;
It may be, in yon smoke conceal’d,
Your comrades chase e’en now the fliers,
And, but for you, possess the field.

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.

And not by eastern windows only,
When daylight comes, comes in the light;
In front the sun climbs slow, how slowly!
But westward, look, the land is bright!

This particular poem, though quite old-fashioned by modern standards, has been one of my favorites for a very long time. I especially like the last stanza. Did I mention that the poem was written by the nineteenth-century British poet, Arthur Hugh Clough (1819 - 1861)?

I thought I did.

I wonder if you might have any idea who this could be:

I thought you might.


  1. Wikipedia's info on Mr. Clough is interesting; thanks for the link.

    I can see why you particularly like the last stanza of this poem.

  2. I like the last stanza too. Very inspiring.

  3. So, there is always hope?
    Shows too how language is ever evolving.

    Who wrote this?

  4. Aristocratic looking gent, what? The flowery language is at least understandable, which is more than I can say for some of the more rambling, unstructured poetry of today. Language is beginning to bow to the lowest common denominator of understanding, I fear - present company excepted, of course!

    Can you believe the WV is 'agism'. lol :)

  5. Thanks to four faithful readers of my blog -- Pat, Ruth, Carolina (in Nederland), and the one-and-only jinksy -- for commenting one more time. When you comment, the void seems somehow less, oh, I don't know, voidy.

  6. This is an interesting poem, Mr. Brague. Thanks for sharing it.