Say not the Struggle nought Availeth
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,
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.
The Latest Decalogue
Arthur Hugh Clough, Poems, with a Memoir (Cambridge: Macmillan, 1862). PR 4455 A2 1862 ROBA TRIN. The standard recent edition of Clough's poetry is The Poems of Arthur Hugh Clough, edited by H. F. Lowry, A. L. P. Norrington and F. L. Mulhauser (Oxford, 1951).
2Would be at the expense of two?
3No graven images may be
4Worshipp'd, except the currency:
5Swear not at all; for, for thy curse
6Thine enemy is none the worse:
7At church on Sunday to attend
8Will serve to keep the world thy friend:
9Honour thy parents; that is, all
10From whom advancement may befall:
11Thou shalt not kill; but need'st not strive
12Officiously to keep alive:
13Do not adultery commit;
14Advantage rarely comes of it:
15Thou shalt not steal; an empty feat,
16When it's so lucrative to cheat:
17Bear not false witness; let the lie
18Have time on its own wings to fly:
19Thou shalt not covet; but tradition
20Approves all forms of competition.