Sunday, June 17, 2012

For we are all like swimmers in the sea

When I was in Secondary 4, I studied a beautiful poem for my Senior Cambridge (‘O’ level) exams. Until today, I still cannot forget the wonderful story of Sohrab and Rustum by Matthew Arnold.

For years, there was nobody in my family to share this with. My wife and two older children are all Life Sciences (boring) majors. But now that my youngest has started her English Literature studies at the University of Edinburgh, I finally have somebody to share my enjoyment of this beautiful but sad story.
But yet Success sways with the breath of Heaven.
And though thou thinkest that thou knowest sure
Thy victory, yet thou canst not surely know.

For we are all, like swimmers in the sea,
Pois’d on the top of a huge wave of Fate,
Which hangs uncertain to which side to fall.
And whether it will heave us up to land,
Or whether it will roll us out to sea,

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