It is a poem. Amours de Voyage by Arthur Hugh Clough (1858). A nineteenth-century figure who expressed twentieth-century skepticism about action and belief, Clough set this tragicomic narrative poem during the unsuccessful Italian Revolution of 1848–49. Much of the poem consists of letters from an erudite Englishman named Claude to his friend Eustace, describing his inability to commit to the woman he loves or engage himself in the political turmoil swirling around him. Yet, his self-awareness is so acute that he does not offer a lament of his limitations so much as an ironic self-portrait of an oddly decisive man.