Where Lies the Land to which the Ship would Go?

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).
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?" Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
1862
RPO poem Editors: 
Margaret Frances (Sister St. Francis) Nims
RPO Edition: 
3RP 3.197.
Rhyme: 
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