THE DISAPPOINTED

There are songs enough for a hero
    Who dwells on the heights of fame ;
I sing for the disappointed
    For those who missed their aim.

I sing with a tearful cadence
    For one who stands in the dark,
And knows that his last, best arrow
    Has bounded back from the mark.

I sing for the breathless runner,
    The eager, anxious soul,
Who falls with his strength exhausted,
    Almost in sight of the goal.

For the hearts that break in silence
    With a sorrow all unknown
For those who need companions,
    Yet walk their ways alone.

There are songs enough for the lovers
    Who share love's tender pain ;
I sing for the one whose passion
    Is given and in vain.

For those whose spirit-comrades
    Have missed them on the way
I sing with a heart o'erflowing,
    This minor strain to-day.

And I know the solar system
    Must somewhere keep in space
A prize for that spent runner
    Who barely lost the race.

For the pain would be imperfect
    Unless it held some sphere
That paid for the toil and talent
    And love that are wasted here.

                  ELLA WHEELER WILCOX.

The North American [Philadelphia] 24 Apr. 1886: 3.

Courtesy of John M. Freiermuth.


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