The mighty ocean rolls and raves

A poem by Arthur Hugh Clough

The mighty ocean rolls and raves,
To part us with its angry waves;
But arch on arch from shore to shore,
In a vast fabric reaching o’er,

With careful labours daily wrought
By steady hope and tender thought,
The wide and weltering waste above,
Our hearts have bridged it with their love.

There fond anticipations fly
To rear the growing structure high;
Dear memories upon either side
Combine to make it large and wide.

There, happy fancies day by day,
New courses sedulously lay;
There soft solicitudes, sweet fears,
And doubts accumulate, and tears.

While the pure purpose of the soul,
To form of many parts a whole,
To make them strong and hold them true,
From end to end, is carried through.

Then when the waters war between,
Upon the masonry unseen,
Secure and swift, from shore to shore,
With silent footfall travelling o’er,

Our sundered spirits come and go.
Hither and thither, to and fro,
Pass and repass, now linger near,
Now part, anew to reappear.

With motions of a glad surprise,
We meet each other’s wondering eyes,
At work, at play, when people talk,
And when we sleep, and when we walk.

Each dawning day my eyelids see
You come, methinks, across to me,
And I, at every hour anew
Could dream I travelled o’er to you.

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