James and Mary Ford, eds. Every Day in the Year. 1902.

February 28

Anne Clough

By Edmund Gosse (1849–1928)

  • Sister of Arthur Hugh Clough and first president of Newnham College, Cambridge. She died Feb. 28, 1892.

  • ESTEEMED, admired, beloved,—farewell!

    Alas! what need hadst thou of peace?

    Our bitterest winter tolls the knell,

    And tolls, and tolls, and will not cease.

    It tolls and tolls with iron tongue

    For empty lives and hearts unblessed,

    And tolls for thee, whose heart was young,

    Whose life was stored with hope and rest.

    Thy meditative quaint replies,

    Cast out like arrows on the air,

    The humor in thy dark blue eyes,

    The wisdom in thy silver hair,—

    Though these grow faint, shade after shade,

    As those who loved thee droop and pass,

    Thy being was not wholly made

    To shrink like breath upon a glass.

    Thou with new graces didst maintain

    The old, outworn scholastic seat,

    Throned, simply, with an ardent train

    Of studious beauty round thy feet.

    Those girls, grown mothers soon, will teach

    Their sons to praise thy sacred name,

    Thy hand that taught their hands to reach

    The broader thought, the brighter flame.

    So thou, though sunk amidst the gloom

    That gathers round our reedy shore,

    Shalt with diffused light illume

    A thousand hearths unlit before.