Arthur Hugh Clough

(1 January 1819 – 13 November 1861 / Liverpool)

Across the Sea Along the Shore Poem by Arthur Hugh Clough


Across the sea, along the shore,
In numbers more and ever more,
From lonely hut and busy town,
The valley through, the mountain down,
What was it ye went out to see,
Ye silly folk Galilee?
The reed that in the wind doth shake?
The weed that washes in the lake?
The reeds that waver, the weeds that float?
A young man preaching in a boat.
What was it ye went out to hear
By sea and land from far and near?
A teacher? Rather seek the feet
Of those who sit in Moses' seat.
Go humbly seek, and bow to them,
Far off in great Jerusalem.
From them that in her courts ye saw,
Her perfect doctors of the law,
What is it came ye here to note?
A young man preaching in a boat.

A prophet! Boys and women weak!
Declare, or cease to rave;
Whence is it he hath learned to speak?
Say, who his doctrine gave?
A prophet? Prophet wherefore he
Of all in Israel tribes?
He teacheth with authority,
And not as do the Scribes.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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