YOU will be what you will to be;
Let failure find its false content
In that poor word "environment,"
But spirit scorns it, and is free,
It masters time, it conquers space,
It cows that boastful trickster Chance,
And bids the tyrant Circumstance
Uncrown and fill a servant's place.
The human Will, that force unseen,
The offspring of a deathless Soul,
Can hew the way to any goal,
Though walls of granite intervene.
Be not impatient in delay,
But wait as one who understands;
When spirit rises and commands,
The gods are ready to obey.
The river, seeking for the sea,
Confronts the dam and precipice,
Yet knows it cannot fail or miss;
You will be what you will to be!
ELLA WHEELER WILCOX.
The Evening Bulletin [Philadelphia] 20 Mar. 1901: 7.
Courtesy of John M. Freiermuth.
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