Sunday, 17 February 2008

Arthur Hugh Clough's Qua Cursum Ventus*

*As the wind blows so the vessel takes its course.

This poem was written by the Liverpool born poet Clough during his time at Oxford. It records the poet's regret at losing many old friends due to the religious ballyhoo going on at the University around 1845 - the so-called Oxford Movement. Clough declined to sign the '39 articles of faith'.
There's another small item with a poem by Arthur Hugh Clough on the site (simply scroll down a few places).

Qua Cursum Ventus

As ships, becalmed at eve, that lay
With canvas drooping, side by side,
Two towers of sail at dawn of day
Are scarce long leagues apart descried;

When fell the night, upsprung the breeze,
And all the darkling hours they plied,
Nor dreamt but each the self-same seas
By each was cleaving, side by side:

Even so - but why the tale reveal
Of those whom, year by year unchanged,
Brief absence joined anew, to feel,
Astounded, soul from soul estranged?

At dead of night their sails were filled,
And onward each rejoicing steered -
Ah, neither blame, for neither willed,
Or wist, what first with dawn appeared!

To veer, how vain! On, onward strain,
Brave barks! In light, in darkness too,
Through winds and tides one compass guides -
To that, and your own selves, be true.

But O blithe breeze! and O great seas,
Though never, that earliest parting past,
On your wide plain they join again,
Together lead them home at last.

One port, methought, alike they sought,
One purpose hold wherever they fare, -
O bounding breeze, O rushing seas!
At last, at last, unite them there!

Poet-in-Residence has taken the liberty of removing numerous apostroph's to m'ke the th'ng easi'r to read. He hopes Clough appr'ves!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.