Representative Poetry Online
  Poet Index   Poem Index   Random   Search  
  Introduction   Timeline   Calendar   Glossary   Criticism   Bibliography  
  RPO   Canadian Poetry   UTEL  
by Name
by Date
by Title
by First Line
by Last Line
Short poem

Arthur Hugh Clough (1819-1861)

Perché Pensa? Pensando s'Invecchia

              1To spend uncounted years of pain,
              2Again, again, and yet again,
              3In working out in heart and brain
              4     The problem of our being here;
              5To gather facts from far and near,
              6Upon the mind to hold them clear,
              7And, knowing more may yet appear,
              8Unto one's latest breath to fear
              9The premature result to draw--
            10Is this the object, end and law,
            11     And purpose of our being here?


1] The poem did not appear in the 1862 volume; the text given here is from The Poems and Prose Remains, 1869. The Italian title, added in 1869, may be translated: "Why do you think? Thinking makes one old."

Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: Arthur Hugh Clough, The Poems and Prose Remains: with a Selection from his Letters and a Memoir, ed. Blanche Smith Clough [Clough's widow] (London : Macmillan, 1869). PR/C625p VICT. 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).
First publication date: July 1853
Publication date note: Published in Putnam's Magazine. AP 2 C4 ROBA
RPO poem editor: Margaret Frances (Sister St. Francis) Nims
RP edition: 3RP 3.196.
Recent editing: 4:2002/1/30

Composition date: 1851
Rhyme: aaabbbbbccb

Other poems by Arthur Hugh Clough