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Poem by Arthur Hugh Clough

A Protest

LIGHT words they were, and lightly, falsely said;
She heard them, and she started,and she rose,
As in the act to speak; the sudden thought
And unconsiderd impulse led her on.
In act to speak she rose, but with the sense
Of all the eyes of that mixd company
Now suddenly turnd upon her, some with age
Hardend and dulld, some cold and critical;
Some in whom vapors of their own conceit,
As moist malarious mists the heavenly stars,
Still blotted out their good, the best at best
By frivolous laugh and prate conventional
All too untund for all she thought to say,
With such a thought the mantling blood to her cheek
Flushd up, and oer-flushd itself, blank night her soul
Made dark, and in her all her purpose swoond.
She stood as if for sinking. Yet anon,
With recollections clear, august, sublime,
Of Gods great truth, and right immutable,
Which, as obedient vassals, to her mind
Came summond of her will, in self-negation
Quelling her troublous earthly consciousness,
She queend it oer her weakness. At the spell
Back rolld the ruddy tide, and leaves her cheek
Paler than erst, and yet not ebbs so far
But that one pulse of one indignant thought
Might hurry it hither in flood. So as she stood
She spoke. God in her spoke, and made her heard.

Arthur Hugh Clough

Arthur Hugh Clough's other poems:
  1. Currente Calamo
  2. Sic Itur
  3. O Thou of Llittle Faith
  4. Selene
  5. Thoughts of Home

Poems of the other poets with the same name:

  • Emily Pfeiffer A Protest ("This is the sabbath season of the year")

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