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ALL the breath and the bloom of the year in the bag of one bee:
All the wonder and wealth of the mine in the heart of one gem :
In the core of one pearl all the shade and the shine of the sea: Breath and bloom, shade and shine,wonder, wealth, and-how far above them
Truth, that's brighter than gem, Trust, that's purer than pearlBrightest truth, purest trust in the universe--all were for me In the kiss of one girl.
A PEARL, A GIRL
A SIMPLE ring with a single stone,
To the vulgar eye no stone of price: Whisper the right word, that alone-
Forth starts a sprite, like fire from ice, And lo, you are lord (says an Eastern scroll) [sole Of heaven and earth, lord whole and Through the power in a pearl.
A woman ('t is I this time that say) With little the world counts worthy praise:
"What do you read about?' The siege of Troy." "What is a siege, and what is Troy?* Whereat He piled up chairs and tables for a town, Set me a-top for Priam, called our cat -Helen, enticed away from home (he said)
By wicked Paris, who couched somewhere close
Under the footstool, being cowardly, But whom-since she was worth the pains, poor pussTowzer and Tray,-our dogs, the Atreidai,-sought
By taking Troy to get possession of -Always when great Achilles ceased to sulk,
(My pony in the stable)-forth would
And put to flight Hector-our page-boy's self.
This taught me who was who and what was what:
So far I rightly understood the case At five years old; a huge delight it proved
And still proves-thanks to that instructor sage
My Father, who knew better than turn straight Learning's full flare on weak-eyed igno
Or, worse yet, leave weak eyes to grow sand-blind, Content with darkness and vacuity.
It happened, two or three years afterward,
That-I and playmates playing at Troy's Siege
My Father came upon our make-believe. How would you like to read yourself
Properly told, of which I gave you first Merely such notion as a boy could bear?
Pope, now, would give you the precise
Of what, some day, by dint of scholarship. You'll hear
who knows? - from Homer's very mouth. Learn Greek by all means, read the Blind Old Man,
Sweetest of Singers -tuphlos which means 'blind,' Hedistos which means 'sweetest'. Time enough!
Try, anyhow, to master him some day; Until when, take what serves for substitute,
Read Pope, by all means!”
So I ran through Pope, Enjoyed the tale-what history so true? Also attacked my Primer, duly drudged, Grew fitter thus for what was promised
The very thing itself, the actual words, When I could turn-say, Buttmann to account.
Time passed, I ripened somewhat: one fine day,
"Quite ready for the Iliad, nothing less? There's Heine, where the big books block the shelf:
Don't skip a word, thumb well the Lexicon!"
I thumbed well and skipped nowise till I learned
Who was who, what was what, from Homer's tongue,
And there an end of learning. Had you asked
The all-accomplished scholar, twelve years old,
"Who was it wrote the Iliad?"-what a laugh!
"Why, Homer, all the world knows of his life Doubtless some facts exist: it's everywhere:
We have not settled, though, his place of birth:
He begged, for certain, and was blind beside:
Seven cities claimed him-Scio, with best right, Thinks Byron. What he wrote? Those Hymns we have. Then there's the Battle of the Frogs and Mice,'
That's all-unless they dig Margites' up (I'd like that) nothing more remains to know."
However it got there, deprive who could
Wring from the shrine my precious tenantry,
From accidental fancy's guardian sheath. Assuredly thenceforward-thank my
Helen, Ulysses, Hector and his Spouse, Achilles and his Friend?-though Wolf -ah, Wolf!
Why must he needs come doubting, spoil a dream?
But then, "No dream's worth waking"Browning says:
And here's the reason why I tell thus much.
I, now mature man, you anticipate,
And only by such slow and sure degrees Permitting me to sift the grain from chaff,
Get truth and falsehood known and named as such.
Why did he ever let me dream at all, Not bid me taste the story in its strength? Suppose my childhood was scarce qualified
To rightly understand mythology, Silence at least was in his power to keep: I might have-somehow-correspondingly
Well, who knows by what method, gained my gains, Been taught, by forthrights not meanderings,
My aim should be to loathe, like Peleus
A lie as Hell's Gate, love my wedded wife,
Like Hector, and so on with all the rest. Could not I have excogitated this Without believing such men really were? That is--he might have put into my
The "Ethics"? In translation, if you please,
Exact, no pretty lying that improves To suit the modern taste: no more, no less
The "Ethics: " 't is a treatise I find hard To read aright now that my hair is gray, And I can manage the original.
At five years old--how ill had fared its leaves!
Now, growing double o'er the Stagirite, At least I soil no page with bread and milk, Nor crumple, dogs-ear and deface--boys' way. 1889.
POEMS, with Memoir by Charles Eliot Norton, Ticknor & Fields, 1862.POEMS AND PROSE REMAINS, with Memoir by Mrs. Clough, 2 volumes, London, 1869. POEMS, 1 volume, The Macmillan Company, 1888. SELECTIONS from the Poems, 1 volume, 1894 (Golden Treasury Series). - PROSE REMAINS, 1 volume, The Macmillan Company (1862), 1888.
BIOGRAPHY AND REMINISCENCES
Memoirs by * C. E. Norton and by Mrs. Clough, in the editions above mentioned. SHAIRP (J. C.), Portraits of Friends. STEPHEN (Leslie), Clough; in the Dictionary of National Biography, Vol. XI, 1887.
LIST OF REFERENCES
ARNOLD (Matthew), On Translating Homer, § III; Last Words on Translating Homer, last two pages. - *BAGEHOT (W.), Literary Studies, Vol. II, 1879. BIJVANCK (W. G. C.), Poezie en Leven in de 19de Eeuw: Studien op het Gebied der Letterkunde, Haarlem, 1889.- *BROOKE (S. A.), Four Victorian Poets, 1908. - DOWDEN (E.), Studies in Literature: Transcendental Movement in Literature, 1878. HUDSON (W. H.), Studies in Interpretation, 1893. *HUTTON (R. H.), Literary Essays, 1871, 1888. -MABIE (H. W.), My Study Fire, Second Series. OLIPHANT (Margaret), HUTTON (R. H.), Brief Literary Criticisms, 1906: The Unpopularity of Clough; Amiel and Clough.- Victorian Age in Literature.- PATMORE (C.), Principle in Art. - PERRY (T. S.), in Atlantic Monthly, 1875, p. 409.ROBERTSON (J. M.), New Essays towards a Critical Method, 1897. — *SIDGWICK (Henry), Miscellaneous Essays and Addresses, 1905. - STEDMAN (E. C.), Victorian Poets, p. 243-4. WADDINGTON (S.), Arthur Hugh Clough, a Monograph, 1883.- WARD (T. H.), English Poets, Vol. IV. ARMSTRONG (R. A.), Faith and Doubt. - MACDONALD (G.), England's Antiphon.-SCUDDER (V. D.), Life of the Spirit.-SEEBURG (L.), Ueber A. H. Clough.-SHARP (Amy), Victorian Poets. SWANWICK (A.), Poets the Interpreters of their Age.
TRIBUTES IN VERSE
* ARNOLD, The Scholar Gipsy; Thyrsis. - LOWELL, Agassiz. Section III.