Say not the Struggle nought Availeth

By Arthur Hugh Clough 1819–1861
Say not the struggle nought 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 concealed,
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,
     Came, 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.

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Poet Arthur Hugh Clough 1819–1861

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

Subjects Living, Time & Brevity, Social Commentaries, History & Politics, War & Conflict

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

 Arthur Hugh Clough

Biography

A successful student at Rugby, a prestigious English public school, the Victorian poet Arthur Hugh Clough suffered from the intense pressures of high expectations. He attended Oxford but was dismissed before completing his studies, had difficulty securing a job, and he eventually found a career as a clerk in the British Education Office. Clough is best known for his early, shorter poems and for the longer, later work that sprang . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Time & Brevity, Social Commentaries, History & Politics, War & Conflict

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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