As I sat goggling in front of the telly in the early watches of this morning, I was reminded of this poem by Arthur Hugh Clough. Although many suggested that Nationalists were marching with Hubris (in the shadow of Nemesis) before polling day, I certainly didn't encounter any SNP activists sauntering hand in hand with that pair of pale goddesses out on the campaign trail on behalf of Nicola Sturgeon in Glasgow Southside. Indeed, everywhere I met trepidation and skepticism about reported voting intentions. Crucial to this, I suspect, are the long memories of many Nationalists, haunted by historical recollections of defeat after defeat in the face of a Scottish Labour hegemony which seemed inevitable. Say not the struggle naught availeth...
Say not the struggle naught availeth,The labour and the wounds are vain,The enemy faints not, nor faileth,And as things have been they remain.
If hopes were dupes, fears may be liars;It may be, in yon smoke conceal'd,Your comrades chase e'en now the fliers,And, but for you, possess the field.
For while the tired waves, vainly breaking,Seem here no painful inch to gain,Far back, through creeks and inlets making,Comes silent, flooding in, the main.
And not by eastern windows only,When daylight comes, comes in the light;In front the sun climbs slow, how slowly!But westward, look, the land is bright!