Talk not to me of souls that do conceive
Sublime ideals, but, deterred by Fate
And bound by circumstances, sit desolate,
And long for heights they never can achieve.
It is not so. That which we most desire,
With understanding, we at last obtain,
In part or whole. I hold there is no rain,
No deluge, that can quench a heavenly fire.
Show me thy labour, I straightway will name
The nature of thy thoughts. Who bends the bow,
And lets the arrow from the strained string go,
Strikes somewhere near the object of his aim.
We build our ships from timbers of the brain;
With products of the soul we load the hold;
Where lies the blame if they bring back no gold,
Or if they spring a leak upon the main?
There is no Fate, no Providence, no Chance,
The will is all. So be it thou art pure,
And strong of purpose, thy success is sure;
But fools and sluggards prate of circumstance.
Yesterdays. By Ella Wheeler Wilcox.
London: Gay & Hancock, 1916.
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