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I will look straight out, see things, not try to evade them;
Fact shall be fact for me; and the Truth the Truth as ever,
Flexible, changeable, vague, and multiform, and doubtful. –
Off, and depart to the void, thou subtle, fanatical tempter.

Amours de Voyage, V, v, 100-104

Arthur Clough Poems


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DUTY – that's to say complying
With whate'er's expected here;
On your unknown cousin's dying,
Straight be ready with the tear;

Tis the stern and prompt suppressing,
As an obvious deadly sin,
All the questing and the guessing
Of the soul's own soul within:


I do not being moved: for the will is excited

and action is most dangerous thing; I tremble for something factitious,

some malpractice of heart and illegitimate process;

We're so prone to these things, with our terrible notions of duty.

Duty (continued…)

OLD things need not therefore be true, O brother men, nor yet the new; Ah! still awhile the old thought retain, And yet consider i again!

The souls of now two thousand years Have laid up here their toils and fears, And all the earnings of their pain,-- Ah, yet consider it again!

We! what do we see? each a space Of some few yards before his face; Does that the whole wide plan explain? Ah, yet consider it again!

Alas! the great world goes its way, And takes its truth from each new day; They do not quit, nor can retain, Far less consider it again.

Ah! Yet Consider It Again!

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