Alcaics

A poem by Arthur Hugh Clough

So spake the voice: and as with a single life
Instinct, the whole mass, fierce, irretainable,
Down on that unsuspecting host swept;
Down, with the fury of winds, that all night
Upbrimming, sapping slowly the dyke, at dawn
Fall through the breach o’er holmstead and harvest; and
Heard roll a deluge: while the milkmaid
Trips i’ the dew, and remissly guiding
Morn’s first uneven furrow, the farmer’s boy
Dreams out his dream; so, over the multitude
Safe-tented, uncontrolled and uncon-
trollably sped the Avenger’s fury.

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