Two Moods

A poem by Arthur Hugh Clough

Ah, blame him not because he’s gay!
That he should smile, and jest, and play
But shows how lightly he can bear,
How well forget that load which, where
Thought is, is with it, and howe’er
Dissembled, or indeed forgot,
Still is a load, and ceases not.
This aged earth that each new spring
Comes forth so young, so ravishing
In summer robes for all to see,
Of flower, and leaf, and bloomy tree,
For all her scarlet, gold, and green,
Fails not to keep within unseen
That inner purpose and that force
Which on the untiring orbit’s course
Around the sun, amidst the spheres
Still bears her thro’ the eternal years.
Ah, blame the flowers and fruits of May,
And then blame him because he’s gay.

Ah, blame him not, for not being gay,
Because an hundred times a day
He doth not currently repay
Sweet words with ready words as sweet,
And for each smile a smile repeat.
To mute submissiveness confined,
Blame not, if once or twice the mind
Its pent-up indignation wreak
In scowling brow and flushing cheek,
And smiles curled back as soon as born,
To dire significance of scorn.
Nor blame if once, and once again
He wring the hearts of milder men,
If slights, the worse if undesigned,
Should seem unbrotherly, unkind;
For though tree wave, and blossom blow
Above, earth hides a fire below;
Her seas the starry laws obey,
And she from her own ordered way,
Swerves not, because it dims the day
Or changes verdure to decay.
Ah, blame the great world on its way,
And then blame him for not being gay.

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