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Poem by Arthur Hugh Clough


The Hidden Love


O let me love my love unto myself alone,
And know my knowledge to the world unknown;
No witness to my vision call,
Beholding, unbeheld of all;
And worship Thee, with Thee withdrawn apart,
Whoeer, Whateer Thou art,
Within the closest veil of mine own inmost heart.

What is it then to me
If others are inquisitive to see?
Why should I quit my place to go and ask
If other men are working at their task?
Leave my own buried roots to go
And see that brother plants shall grow;
And turn away from Thee, O Thou most Holy Light,
To look if other orbs their orbits keep aright,
Around their proper sun,
Deserting Thee, and being undone.

O let me love my love unto myself alone,
And know my knowledge to the world unknown;
And worship Thee, O hid One, O much sought,
As but man can or ought,
Within the abstractedst shrine of my least breathed-on thought.

Better it were, thou sayest, to consent;
Feast while we may, and live ere life be spent;
Close up clear eyes, and call the unstable sure,
The unlovely lovely, and the filthy pure;
In self-belyings, self-deceivings roll,
And lose in Action, Passion, Talk, the soul.

Nay, better far to mark off thus much air,
And call it Heaven: place bliss and glory there;
Fix perfect homes in the unsubstantial sky,
And say, what is not, will be by-and-bye.



                      Arthur Hugh Clough


Arthur Hugh Clough's other poems:
  1. Hope Evermore and Believe!
  2. Genesis XXIV
  3. O Thou of Llittle Faith
  4. Selene
  5. To a Sleeping Child


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