Even the Winds and the Sea obey

A poem by Arthur Hugh Clough

Said the Poet, I wouldn’t maintain,
As the mystical German has done,
That the land, inexistent till then,
To reward him then first saw the sun;
And yet I could deem it was so,
As o’er the new waters he sailed,
That his soul made the breezes to blow,
With his courage the breezes had failed;
His strong quiet purpose had still
The hurricane’s fury withheld;
The resolve of his conquering will
The lingering vessel impelled:
For the beings, the powers that range
In the air, on the earth, at our sides,
Can modify, temper and change
Stronger things than the winds and the tides,
By forces occult can the laws
As we style them of nature o’errule;
Can cause, so to say, every cause,
And our best mathematics befool;
Can defeat calculation and plan,
Baffle schemes ne’er so wisely designed,
But will bow to the genius of man,
And acknowledge a sovereign mind.

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