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Poem by Arthur Hugh Clough


Selene


MY beloved, is it nothing
Though we meet not, neither can,
That I see thee, and thou me,
That we see, and see we see,
When I see I also feel thee;
Is it nothing, my beloved!

Thy luminous clear beauty
Brightens on me in my night,
I withdraw into my darkness
To allure thee into light.
About me and upon me I feel them pass and stay,
About me, deep into me, every lucid tender ray.
And thou, thou also feelest
When thou stealest
Shamefaced and half afraid
To the chamber of thy shade,
Thou in thy turn,
Thou too feelest
Something follow, something yearn,
A full orb blaze and burn.

My full orb upon thine,
As thine erst, gently smiling,
Softly wooing, sweetly wiling,
Gleamed on mine;
So mine on thine in turn
When thou feelest blaze and burn,
Is it nothing, my beloved?

My beloved, is it nothing
When I see thee and thou me,
When we each other see,
Is it nothing, my beloved?

Closer, closer come unto me.
Shall I see thee and no more?
I can see thee, is that all?
Let me also,
Let me feel thee,
Closer, closer, my beloved,
Come unto me, come to me, come
O cruel, cruel lot, still thou rollest, stayest not,
Lookest onward, lookТst before,
Yet I follow, evermore.
Oh, cold and cruel fate, thou rollest on thy way,
Scarcely lookest, will not stay,
From thine alien way.

The inevitable motion
Bears me forth upon the line
Whose course I cannot see.
I must move as it conveys me
Evermore. It so must be.

O cold one, and I round thee
Revolve, round only thee,
Straining ever to be nearer
While thou evadest still;
Repellest still, O cold one,
Nay, but closer, closer, closer,
My beloved, come, come, come!

The inevitable motion
Carries both upon its line,
Also you as well as me.
What is best, and what is strongest,
We obey. It so must be.

Cruel, cruel, didst thou only
Feel as I feel evermore,
A force, though in, not of me,
Drawing inward, in, in, in.

Yea, thou shalt though, ere all endeth,
Thou shalt feel me closer, closer,
My beloved, close, close to thee,
Come to thee, come, come, come!

The inevitable motion
Bears us both upon its line
Together, you as me,
Together and asunder,
Evermore. It so must be. 



                      Arthur Hugh Clough


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


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