Arthur Hugh Clough (1 January 1819 – 13 November 1861 / Liverpool)
There Is No God, the Wicked Sayeth
"There is no God," the wicked saith,
"And truly it's a blessing,
For what He might have done with us
It's better only guessing."
"There is no God," a youngster thinks,
"or really, if there may be,
He surely did not mean a man
Always to be a baby."
"There is no God, or if there is,"
The tradesman thinks, "'twere funny
If He should take it ill in me
To make a little money."
"Whether there be," the rich man says,
"It matters very little,
For I and mine, thank somebody,
Are not in want of victual."
Some others, also, to themselves,
Who scarce so much as doubt it,
Think there is none, when they are well,
And do not think about it.
But country folks who live beneath
The shadow of the steeple;
The parson and the parson's wife,
And mostly married people;
Youths green and happy in first love,
So thankful for illusion;
And men caught out in what the world
Calls guilt, in first confusion;
And almost everyone when age,
Disease, or sorrows strike him,
Inclines to think there is a God,
Or something very like Him.
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- Amours de Voyage, Canto IV
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- Elegiac II.
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