As we gaze up life's slope, as we gaze
    In the morn, ere the dewdrops are dry,
What a splendor hangs over those ways,
    What glory gleams there in the sky !
    What pleasures seem waiting us high
On the peak of that beauteous slope,
What rainbow- hued colors of hope,
                    As we gaze !

As we climb up the hill, as we climb,
    Our hearts, our illusions, are rent :
For Fate, who is spouse of old Time,
    Is jealous of youth and content,
    With brows that are brooding and bent
She shadows our sunlight of gold,
And the way grows lonely and cold,
                     As we climb.

As we toil on through trouble and pain,
    There are hands that will shelter and feed ;
But once let us dare to attain,
    They will bruise our bare hearts till we bleed.
    'Tis the worst of all crimes to succeed--
Know this as we fast on a crust,
Know this in the darkness and dust,
                     Ye who climb !

As we stand on the heights of success,
    Lo! success seems as hard as defeat,
Through the lives we may succor and bless
    Alone may its bitter turn sweet ;
    And the world, lying there at our feet,
With its caviling praise and its sneer,
We must pity, condone not hear,
                     Where we stand !

As we live on those heights, we must live
    With the courage and pride of a god ;
For the world, it has nothing to give
    But the scourge of the lash and the rod.
    Our thoughts must be noble and broad,
Our purpose must challenge men's gaze,
While we seek not their blame nore their praise.
                     As we live.                                      --Ella Wheeler Wilcox

The Caucasion. [Clinton, NC] 6 Feb. 1890: 4.

Courtesy of John M. Freiermuth.

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