Clough, Arthur Hugh

Clough, Arthur Hugh

Clough, Arthur Hugh, 1819-61, English poet. He was educated at Rugby and Balliol College, Oxford, where he became friends with Matthew Arnold. After graduation (1841) he was fellow and tutor of Oriel College until 1848 when he resigned. During the next few years he traveled on the Continent. In 1852, inspired by his friendship with Emerson, he went to Harvard and lectured. He pursued a civil service career until his health failed in 1860. His first published work, The Bothie of Toper-na-Vuolich, a narrative in hexameters, appeared in 1848, followed by Ambarvalia, a collection of lyrics, in 1849. His posthumous poems include "Amours de Voyage," the dialogues "Dypsichus," and the tales "Mari Magno." He is perhaps best known for the short lyric, "Say not the struggle naught availeth," and as the subject of Arnold's elegy, "Thyrsis." Skeptical, somewhat cynical, Clough was closer in spirit to the 20th cent. than to the 19th. His poetry reveals not only his doubts about religion and about himself but also his awareness of the social and intellectual problems of his day. Clough's sister, Anne Jemima Clough, 1820-92, was important as a leader in the education of women.

See his complete poems (ed. by H. F. Lowry et al., 1951); his letters (ed. by F. L. Mulhauser, 1974); biography by K. C. Chorley (1962); studies by W. E. Houghton (1963), E. B. Greenberger (1970), and R. K. Biswas (1972).

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