Verse > Anthologies > Harvard Classics > English Poetry III: From Tennyson to Whitman
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   English Poetry III: From Tennyson to Whitman.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
 
694. The Stream of Life
 
Arthur Hugh Clough (1819–1861)
 
 
O STREAM descending to the sea,
  Thy mossy banks between,
The flowerets blow, the grasses grow,
  The leafy trees are green.
 
In garden plots the children play,        5
  The fields the labourers till,
And houses stand on either hand,
  And thou descendest still.
 
O life descending into death,
  Our walking eyes behold,        10
Parent and friend thy lapse attend,
  Companions young and old.
 
Strong purposes our minds possess,
  Our hearts affections fill,
We toil and earn, we seek and learn,        15
  And thou descendest still.
 
O end to which our currents tend,
  Inevitable sea,
To which we flow, what do we know,
  What shall we guess of thee?        20
 
A roar we hear upon thy shore,
  As we our course fulfil;
Scarce we divine a sun will shine
  And be above us still.
 

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