Guest poem submitted by Patrick Brinton :
(Poem #1659) Say Not the Struggle Naught Availeth
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!
I am amazed, actually, that today's poem is not listed in the Minstrels archive; it is my second favorite poem that I know of so far (Kubla Khan is #1!). It is by Arthur Hugh Clough, and is quite different in tone from the two examples you have of his work. It also contains at least one aphorism that has entered the language ("If hopes were dupes, fears may be liars"). I thing that the reason I like it so much is that I am fundamentally an optimist, and it is a very optimistic poem. Patrick Brinton. [Minstrels Links] Poem #30, Kubla Khan Poem #69, There is no god, the wicked sayeth -- Arthur Hugh Clough Poem #159, The Latest Decalogue -- Arthur Hugh Clough