SAY NOT THE STRUGGLE

quill

Here’s one I fell in love with, tucked away in a small used book I picked up somewhere.  The author sounds like a pretty cool guy, not only because of the hopeful tenor of the poem, but that he was the assistant of one of my heroines, the one and only Florence Nightingale!  (You can’t be all bad if you worked for Flo.)  Here’s my INFO.

 

SAY NOT THE STRUGGLE

by Arthur Hugh Clough (1819-1861)

 

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!

 

A Little Treasury of British Poetry, Ed. by Oscar Williams. ©1951 Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York