Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, QUA CURSUM VENTUS, by ARTHUR HUGH CLOUGH

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

QUA CURSUM VENTUS, by                 Poet Analysis     Poet's Biography
First Line: As ships, becalmed at eve, that lay
Last Line: At last, at last, unite them there!
Variant Title(s): Becalmed At Eve
Subject(s): Absence; Sea; Separation; Isolation; Ocean

As ships, becalmed at eve, that lay
With canvas drooping, side by side,
Two towers of sail at dawn of day
Are scarce long leagues apart descried.
When fell the night, up sprang the breeze,
And all the darkling hours they plied,
Nor dreamt but each the selfsame seas
By each was cleaving, side by side:
E'en so, -- but why the tale reveal
Of those whom, year by year unchanged,
Brief absence joined anew to feel,
Astounded, soul from soul estranged?
At dead of night their sails were filled,
And onward each rejoicing steered; --
Ah! neither blame, for neither willed
Or wist what first with dawn appeared.
To veer, how vain! On, onward strain,
Brave barks! In light, in darkness too,
Through winds and tides one compass guides;
To that and your own selves be true.
But O blithe breeze! and O great seas!
Though ne'er, that earliest parting past,
On your wide plain they join again, --
Together lead them home at last.
One port, methought, alike they sought, --
One purpose hold where'er they fare;
O bounding breeze, O rushing seas,
At last, at last, unite them there!

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