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Arthur Hugh Clough (1819-1861)

Where Lies the Land to which the Ship would Go?


              1Where lies the land to which the ship would go?
              2Far, far ahead, is all her seamen know.
              3And where the land she travels from? Away,
              4Far, far behind, is all that they can say.

              5On sunny noons upon the deck's smooth face,
              6Link'd arm in arm, how pleasant here to pace;
              7Or, o'er the stern reclining, watch below
              8The foaming wake far widening as we go.

              9On stormy nights when wild north-westers rave,
            10How proud a thing to fight with wind and wave!
            11The dripping sailor on the reeling mast
            12Exults to bear, and scorns to wish it past.

            13Where lies the land to which the ship would go?
            14Far, far ahead, is all her seamen know.
            15And where the land she travels from? Away,
            16Far, far behind, is all that they can say.

Notes

1] Written during Clough's residence in America. Untitled in the 1862 volume, it appears in 1869 among a group of poems bearing the general title Songs in Absence. The first line was probably suggested by Wordsworth's sonnet, "Where lies the land to which yon Ship must go?"


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, 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).
First publication date: 1862
RPO poem editor: Margaret Frances (Sister St. Francis) Nims
RP edition: 3RP 3.197.
Recent editing: 4:2002/1/30

Composition date: 1852
Form: Heroic Couplets
Rhyme: aabb


Other poems by Arthur Hugh Clough