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Poem by Arthur Hugh Clough
SAY, will it, when our hairs are grey, And wintry suns half light the day, Which cheering hope and strengthening trust Have left, departed, turned to dust,— Say, will it soothe lone years to extract From fitful shows with sense exact Their sad residuum, small, of fact? Will trembling nerves their solace find In plain conclusions of the mind? Or errant fancies fond, that still To fretful motions prompt the will, Repose upon effect and cause, And action of unvarying laws, And human life’s familiar doom, And on the all-concluding tomb. Or were it to our kind and race, And our instructed selves, disgrace To wander then once more in you, Green fields, beneath the pleasant blue; To dream as we were used to dream, And let things be whate’er they seem? O feeble shapes of beggars grey That, tottering on the public way, Die out in doting, dim decay, Is it to you when all is past Our would-be wisdom turns at last?
Arthur Hugh Clough
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