Epitaph Of A Young Poet Who Died Before Having Achieved Success

Beneath this sod lie the remains
Of one who died of growing pains.

by Amy Lowell.

Luck is not chance

Luck is not chance
It's Toil
Fortune's expensive smile
Is earned
The Father of the Mine
Is that old-fashioned Coin
We spurned

by Emily Dickinson.

Glory is that bright tragic thing

Glory is that bright tragic thing
That for an instant
Means Dominion -
Warms some poor name
That never felt the Sun,
Gently replacing
In oblivion -

by Emily Dickinson.

Success allures us in the earth and skies:
We seek to win her, but, too amorous,
Mocking, she flees us. Haply, were we wise,
We would not strive and she would come to us.

by Madison Julius Cawein.

He Who Hath Glory Lost

He who hath glory lost, nor hath
Found any soul to fellow his,
Among his foes in scorn and wrath
Holding to ancient nobleness,
That high unconsortable one ---
His love is his companion.

by James Joyce.

I Had The Glory—that Will Do


I had the Glory—that will do—
An Honor, Thought can turn her to
When lesser Fames invite—
With one long "Nay"—
Bliss' early shape
Deforming—Dwindling—Gulfing up—
Time's possibility.

by Emily Dickinson.

I Made Slow Riches But My Gain


I made slow Riches but my Gain
Was steady as the Sun
And every Night, it numbered more
Than the preceding One

All Days, I did not earn the same
But my perceiveless Gain
Inferred the less by Growing than
The Sum that it had grown.

by Emily Dickinson.

Success Is Counted Sweetest

Success is counted sweetest
By those who ne'er succeed.
To comprehend a nectar
Requires sorest need.

Not one of all the purple Host
Who took the Flag today
Can tell the definition
So clear of Victory

As he defeated--dying--
On whose forbidden ear
The distant strains of triumph
Burst agonized and clear!

by Emily Dickinson.

Riches I Hold In Light Esteem

Riches I hold in light esteem
And Love I laugh to scorn
And lust of Fame was but a dream
That vanished with the morn–
And if I pray, the only prayer
That moves my lips for me
Is–'Leave the heart that now I bear
And give me liberty.'

Yes, as my swift days near their goal
'Tis all that I implore
Through life and death, a chainless soul
With courage to endure!

(March 1, 1841)

by Emily Jane Brontë.

Within the hollowed hand of God,
Blood-red they lie, the dice of fate,
That have no time nor period,
And know no early and no late.

Postpone you can not, nor advance
Success or failure that's to be;
All fortune, being born of chance,
Is bastard-child to destiny.

Bow down your head, or hold it high,
Consent, defy-no smallest part
Of this you change, although the die
Was fashioned from your living heart.

by Madison Julius Cawein.

What mines the morning heavens unfold!
What far Alaskas of the skies!
That, veined with elemental gold,
Sierra on Sierra rise.

Heap up the gold of all the world,
The ore that makes men fools and slaves;
What is it to the gold, cloud-curled,
That rivers through the sunset's caves!

Search Earth for riches all who will,
The gold that soils, that turns to dust
Be mine the wealth no thief can steal,
The gold of God that can not rust.

by Madison Julius Cawein.

Fame _Vs._ Riches

The Greeks had genius,--'t was a gift
The Muse vouchsafed in glorious measure;
The boon of Fame they made their aim
And prized above all worldly treasure.

But _we_,--how do we train _our_ youth?
_Not_ in the arts that are immortal,
But in the greed for gains that speed
From him who stands at Death's dark portal.

Ah, when this slavish love of gold
Once binds the soul in greasy fetters,
How prostrate lies,--how droops and dies
The great, the noble cause of letters!

by Eugene Field.

Friend, you have wealth and power,
Men go and come at your call,
Yours are the whims of the hour—
What have you done with it all?
I am only a poet
Fighting a bitter fight,
Fate will not even grant me
Leisure in which to write.

You said as your thin lips curled:
“Money is better than bays.”
Battered and bruised by the world!
I still have my golden days.

You have lost the power to enjoy,
You tire of each plaything new,
Mine is the heart of a boy;
Friend, I am richer than you!

by George Essex Evans.

Another milestone gained and passed,
Another 'rakkud' broken,
And this year's deaths exceed the last,
Which is a hopeful token.

America can ne'er look back;. . . .
She is the land progressive
She keeps along the onward track
With 'vim' and pep excessive.

For they who meet and meekly sing,
To mark a celebration,
Such trifles as 'God Save the King'
Make no real 'he-man' nation.

The U.S.A., from south to north,
Recounts the splendid story,
For it sure is one Glorious Fourth,
When hundreds go to glory.

by Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis.

Behold the brand of beauty tossed!
See how the motion does dilate the flame!
Delighted love his spoils does boast,
And triumph in this game.
Fire, to no place confined,
Is both our wonder and our fear;
Moving the mind,
As lightning hurled through air.

High heaven the glory does increase
Of all her shining lamps, this artful way;
The sun in figures, such as these,
Joys with the moon to play.
To the sweet strains they all advance,
Which do result from their own spheres,
As this nymph's dance
Moves with the numbers which she hears.

by Edmund Waller.

As forth he pours the new made wine,
What blessing asks the lyric poet--
What boon implores in this fair shrine
Of one full likely to bestow it?

Not for Sardinia's plenteous store,
Nor for Calabrian herds he prayeth,
Nor yet for India's wealth galore,
Nor meads where voiceless Liris playeth.

Let honest riches celebrate
The harvest earned--I'd not deny it;
Yet am I pleased with my estate,
My humble home, my frugal diet.

Child of Latonia, this I crave;
May peace of mind and health attend me,
And down into my very grave
May this dear lyre of mine befriend me!

by Eugene Field.

I SAID to Life, 'How comes it,
With all this wealth in store,
Of beauty, joy, and knowledge,
Thy cry is still for more?
'Count all the years of striving
To make thy burden less, —
The things designed and fashioned
To gladden thy success!
'The treasures sought and gathered
Thy lightest whim to please, —
The loot of all the ages,
The spoil of all the seas!
'Is there no end of labor,
No limit to thy need?
Must man go bowed forever
In bondage to thy greed?'
With tears of pride and passion
She answered, 'God above!
I only wait the asking,
To spend it all for love!'

by Bliss William Carman.

Sonnet Lxxvi. To A Young Man Entering The World

GO now, ingenious youth!--The trying hour
Is come: The world demands that thou shouldst go
To active life: There titles, wealth, and power,
May all be purchased--Yet I joy to know
Thou wilt not pay their price. The base control
Of petty despots in their pedant reign
Already hast thou felt;--and high disdain
Of tyrants is imprinted on thy soul--
Not, where mistaken Glory, in the field
Rears her red banner, be thou ever found:
But, against proud Oppression raise the shield
Of patriot daring--So shalt thou renown'd
For the best virtues live ; or that denied
May'st die, as Hampden or as Sydney died!

by Charlotte Smith.

The Passing Glory

Slow sinks the sun, a great carbuncle ball
Red in the cavern of a sombre cloud,
And in her garden, where the dense weeds crowd,
Among her dying asters stands the Fall,
Like some lone woman in a ruined hall,
Dreaming of desolation and the shroud;
Or through decaying woodlands goes, down-bowed,
Hugging the tatters of her gipsy shawl.
The gaunt wind rises, like an angry hand,
And sweeps the sprawling spider from its web,
Smites frantic music in the twilight's ear;
And all around, like melancholy sand,
Rains dead leaves down wild leaves, that mark the ebb,
In Earth's dark hour-glass, of another year.

by Madison Julius Cawein.

Their Height In Heaven Comforts Not


Their Height in Heaven comforts not—
Their Glory—nought to me—
'Twas best imperfect—as it was—
I'm finite—I can't see—

The House of Supposition—
The Glimmering Frontier that
Skirts the Acres of Perhaps—
To Me—shows insecure—

The Wealth I had—contented me—
If 'twas a meaner size—
Then I had counted it until
It pleased my narrow Eyes—

Better than larger values—
That show however true—
This timid life of Evidence
Keeps pleading—"I don't know."

by Emily Dickinson.

Psalm 119 Part 8

The word of God is the saint's portion.

ver. 111, paraphrased.

Lord, I have made thy word my choice,
My lasting heritage;
There shall my noblest powers rejoice,
My warmest thoughts engage.

I'll read the histories of thy love,
And keep thy laws in sight,
While through the promises I rove,
With ever fresh delight.

'Tis a broad land of wealth unknown,
Where springs of life arise,
Seeds of immortal bliss are sown,
And hidden glory lies.

The best relief that mourners have,
It makes our sorrows blest;
Our fairest hope beyond the grave,
And our eternal rest.

by Isaac Watts.

Oft have I brooded on defeat and pain,
The pathos of the stupid, stumbling throng.
These I ignore to-day and only long
To pour my soul forth in one trumpet strain,
One clear, grief-shattering, triumphant song,
For all the victories of man's high endeavor,
Palm-bearing, laurel deeds that live forever,
The splendor clothing him whose will is strong.
Hast thou beheld the deep, glad eyes of one
Who has persisted and achieved? Rejoice!
On naught diviner shines the all-seeing sun.
Salute him with free heart and choral voice,
'Midst flippant, feeble crowds of spectres wan,
The bold, significant, successful man.

by Emma Lazarus.

Had I Not This, Or This, I Said


Had I not This, or This, I said,
Appealing to Myself,
In moment of prosperity—
Inadequate—were Life—

"Thou hast not Me, nor Me"—it said,
In Moment of Reverse—
"And yet Thou art industrious—
No need—hadst Thou—of us"?

My need—was all I had—I said—
The need did not reduce—
Because the food—exterminate—
The hunger—does not cease—

But diligence—is sharper—
Proportioned to the Chance—
To feed upon the Retrograde—
Enfeebles—the Advance—

by Emily Dickinson.

O the gayest of musicians! O the gladdest thing on earth,
With its piping and its chirping, is the cricket on the hearth!
There is magic in the music that he flings us with such zest:
'Love's the only wealth that's lasting-who cares aught for all the rest?
Never mind though ill-luck dog you, never mind though times are hard,
Have you not the wife and bairns?' chirps the sweet, insistent bard-
Chirps and chirps, until you heed him, till your heart is all aglow-
'Love's the only wealth that's lasting, home's a bit of heaven below.'
O the gayest of musicians! O the gladdest thing on earth,
With his piping and his chirping, is the cricket on the hearth!

by Jean Blewett.

Life's Common Things

The common things of life are best-
The air, the sun, the rain;
They come and go without our quest-
They go, and come again.

And treasures in our hands we hold
That riches cannot buy,
Though there be bags of yellow gold
Enough to fill the sky.

For us the robin trills his song,
The oriole pipes his lay-
A concert all the summer long,
And not a cent to pay.

And Love's and Friendship's joys are ours,
And sweet content, and health-
Not always found to be the dowers
Of luxury and wealth.

The crown of care on greatness pressed,
May well the soul appall;
The common things of life are best,
And dear, we have them all.

by Andrew Jackson Downing.

When Summer Comes In Her Glory

When summer comes in her glory and brave the whole earth blows,
when colours burn and perfumes impassion the gladden'd air
then methinks thy laughter seeks me on every breeze that goes
and I feel thy breathing warmth about me everywhere.
Or in the dreamy eve, when our soul is spread in the skies,
when Life for an hour is hush'd, and the gaze is wide to behold
what day may not show nor night, then sure it were no surprise
to find thee beside me sitting, the pitying eyes of old.
But ah, when the winter rains drive hard on the blacken'd pane
and the grief of the lonely wind is lost in the waste outside,
when the room is high and chill and I seek my place in vain,
I know that seas splash cold in the night and the world is wide.

by Christopher John Brennan.

I Play At Riches—to Appease


I play at Riches—to appease
The Clamoring for Gold—
It kept me from a Thief, I think,
For often, overbold

With Want, and Opportunity—
I could have done a Sin
And been Myself that easy Thing
An independent Man—

But often as my lot displays
Too hungry to be borne
I deem Myself what I would be—
And novel Comforting

My Poverty and I derive—
We question if the Man—
Who own—Esteem the Opulence—
As We—Who never Can—

Should ever these exploring Hands
Chance Sovereign on a Mine—
Or in the long—uneven term
To win, become their turn—

How fitter they will be—for Want—
Enlightening so well—
I know not which, Desire, or Grant—
Be wholly beautiful—

by Emily Dickinson.

The Glory And The Dream

There in the past I see her as of old,
Blue-eyed and hazel-haired, within a room
Dim with a twilight of tenebrious gold;
Her white face sensuous as a delicate bloom
Night opens in the tropics. Fold on fold
Pale laces drape her; and a frail perfume,
As of a moonlit primrose brimmed with rain,
Breathes from her presence, drowsing heart and brain.

Her head is bent; some red carnations glow
Deep in her heavy hair; her large eyes gleam;
Bright sister stars of those twin worlds of snow,
Her breasts, through which the veined violets stream;
I hold her hand; her smile comes sweetly slow
As thoughts of love that haunt a poet's dream;
And at her feet once more I sit and hear
Wild words of passion-dead this many a year.

by Madison Julius Cawein.

SUCCESS to the heroes of gallant Castile,
Undaunted in danger, victorious in fight!
May they teach proud oppressors and tyrants to feel,
The patriot's arm of invincible might!

Live in memory eternal, the deeds of the brave!
Be the warriors immortal, who fall on the field!
The garlands of summer shall bloom on their grave,
And the trophies of glory emblazon their shield!

Success to the heroes whom Albion has giv'n,
In the cause of Iberia their aid to supply;
May they wield the bright armour of Justice and Heav'n,
And wave the proud banner of Freedom on high!

May Victory attend on the patriot-band!
May the genius of Albion their bosoms inflame!
Soon may they with laurels return to their land,
Be welcom'd by Love and applauded by Fame!

by Felicia Dorothea Hemans.

'Tell me, would you rather be
Changed by a fairy to the fine
Young orphan heiress Geraldine,
Or still be Emily?

'Consider, ere you answer me,
How many blessings are procured
By riches, and how much endured
By chilling poverty.'

After a pause, said Emily:
'In the words orphan heiress I
Find many a solid reason why
I would not changëd be.

'What though I live in poverty,
And have of sisters eight-so many,
That few indulgencies, if any,
Fall to the share of me:

'Think you that for wealth I'd be
Of even the least of them bereft,
Or lose my parent, and be left
An orphaned Emily?

'Still should I be Emily,
Although I looked like Geraldine;
I feel within this heart of mine
No change could workëd be.'

by Charles Lamb.

Ballade Of Worldly Wealth

Money taketh town and wall,
Fort and ramp without a blow;
Money moves the merchants all,
While the tides shall ebb and flow;
Money maketh Evil show
Like the Good, and Truth like lies:
These alone can ne'er bestow
Youth, and health, and Paradise.

Money maketh festival,
Wine she buys, and beds can strow;
Round the necks of captains tall,
Money wins them chains to throw,
Marches soldiers to and fro,
Gaineth ladies with sweet eyes:
These alone can ne'er bestow
Youth, and health, and Paradise.

Money wins the priest his stall;
Money mitres buys, I trow,
Red hats for the Cardinal,
Abbeys for the novice low;
Money maketh sin as snow,
Place of penitence supplies:
These alone can ne'er bestow
Youth, and health, and Paradise.

by Andrew Lang.

Psalm Xix: The Heavens Declare Thy Glory, Lord

The heavens declare thy glory, Lord,
In every star thy wisdom shines;
But when our eyes behold thy word,
We read thy name in fairer lines.

The rolling sun, the changing light,
And night and day, thy power confess;
But the blest volume thou hast writ
Reveals thy justice and thy grace.

Sun, moon, and stars convey thy praise
Round the whole earth, and never stand;
So when thy truth began its race,
It touched and glanced on every land.

Nor shall thy spreading gospel rest
Till through the world thy truth has run
Till Christ has all the nations blest,
That see the light or feel the sun.

Great Sun of righteousness, arise,
Bless the dark world with heavenly light:
Thy gospel makes the simple wise;
Thy laws are pure, thy judgments right.

by Isaac Watts.

Did you see that man riding past,
With shoulders bowed with care?
There’s failure in his eyes to last,
And in his heart despair.
He seldom looks to left or right,
He nods, but speaks to none,
And he’s a man who fought the fight—
God knows how hard!—and won.
No great “review” could rouse him now,
No printed lies could sting;
No kindness smooth his knitted brow,
Nor wrong one new line bring.
Through dull, dumb days and brooding nights,
From years of storm and stress,
He’s riding down from lonely heights—
The Mountains of Success.

He sees across the darkening land
The graveyards on the coasts;
He sees the broken columns stand
Like cold and bitter ghosts;
His world is dead while yet he lives,
Though known in continents;
His camp is where his country gives
Its pauper monuments.

by Henry Lawson.

Come, thou queen of every creature,
Nature calls thee to her arms ;
Love sits gay on every feature,
Teeming with a thousand charms.

Meet me mid the wreathing bowers,
Greet me in the citron grove,
Where I saw the belle of flowers
Dealing with the blooms of love.

Hark! the lowly dove of Sharon,
Bids thee rise and come away,
From a vale both dry and barren,
Come to one where life is gay.

Come, thou queen of all the forest,
Fair Feronia, mountain glee,
Lovelier than the garden florist,
Or the goddess of the bee.

Come, Sterculus, and with pleasure,
Fertilize the teeming field;
From thy straw, dissolved at leisure,
Bid the lea her bounty yield.

Come, thou queen of every creature,
Nature calls thee to her arms;
Love sits gay on every feature,
Teeming with a thousand charms.

by George Moses Horton.


No riches from his scanty store
My lover could impart;
He gave a meant his love.


But now for me, in search of gain
From shore to shore he flies:
Why wander riches to obtain,boon I valued more—
He gave me all his heart!


His soul sincere, his gen'rous worth,
Might well this bosom move;
And when I ask'd for bliss on earth,
I only
When love is all I prize?


The frugal meal, the lowly cot
If blest my love with thee!
That simple fare, that humble lot,
Were more than wealth to me.


While he the dang'rous ocean braves,
My tears but vainly flow:
Is pity in the faithless waves
To which I pour my woe?


The night is dark, the waters deep,
Yet soft the billows roll;
Alas! at every breeze I weep—
The storm is in my soul.

by Helen Maria Williams.

Dark purple, chased with sudden gloom and glory,
Like waves in wild unrest,
Low-wooded billows and steep summits hoary,
Ridge, slope, and mountain crest,
Cease at her feet with faces turned to meet her,
Enthroned, apart, serene
Above her vassal hills whose voices greet her
The Mountain Queen.
Fair City, unto whom as to a lover
Our tender memories run—
Childhood and Springtide’s careless hours are over,
And Summer days begun.
Behold, amid what wealth of vine and meadow
Thy maiden feet are set;
And on thy brow, undimmed of care or shadow,
Thy civic coronet!

There have been dreams for thee by men who slumber
Sound where no voice may reach,
Who, ere they joined the host that none may number,
Saw what they strove to teach—
The vision of a city, wide and splendid,
Crowning the Range’s wall,
And o’er thy sweeping plateau, far extended,
Welcome for all!

by George Essex Evans.

Psalm 69 Part 3

Christ's obedience and death; or, God glorified and sinners saved.

Father, I sing thy wondrous grace,
I bless my Savior's name;
He bought salvation for the poor,
And bore the sinner's shame.

His deep distress has raised us high;
His duty and his zeal
Fulfilled the law which mortals broke,
And finished all thy will.

His dying groans, his living songs,
Shall better please my God
Than harp or trumpet's solemn sound,
Than goat's or bullock's blood.

This shall his humble followers see,
And set their hearts at rest
They by his death draw near to thee,
And live for ever blest.

Let heav'n and all that dwell on high
To God their voices raise,
While lands and seas assist the sky,
And join t' advance the praise.

Zion is thine, most holy God,
Thy Son shall bless her gates;
And glory purchased by his blood
For thy own Isr'el waits.

by Isaac Watts.

Christ's humiliation and exaltation.

Rev. 5:12.

What equal honors shall we bring
To thee, O Lord our God, the Lamb,
When all the notes that angels sing
Are far inferior to thy name?

Worthy is he that once was slain,
The Prince of Peace that groaned and died;
Worthy to rise, and live, and reign
At his Almighty Father's side.

Power and dominion are his due
Who stood condemned at Pilate's bar;
Wisdom belongs to Jesus too,
Though he was charged with madness here.

All riches are his native right,
Yet he sustained amazing loss;
To him ascribe eternal might,
Who left his weakness on the cross.

Honor immortal must be paid,
Instead of scandal and of scorn;
While glory shines around his head,
And a bright crown without a thorn.

Blessings for ever on the Lamb
Who bore the curse for wretched men;
Let angels sound his sacred name,
And every creature say, Amen.

by Isaac Watts.

Psalm 119 Part 3

Professions of sincerity, repentance, and obedience.

ver. 57,60

Thou art my portion, O my God;
Soon as I know thy way,
My heart makes haste t' obey thy word,
And suffers no delay.

ver. 30,14

I choose the path of heav'nly truth,
And glory in my choice;
Not all the riches of the earth
Could make me so rejoice.

The testimonies of thy grace
I set before my eyes;
Thence I derive my daily strength,
And there my comfort lies.

ver. 59

If once I wander from thy path,
I think upon my ways,
Then turn my feet to thy commands,
And trust thy pard'ning grace.

ver. 94,114

Now I am thine, for ever thine,
O save thy servant, Lord;
Thou art my shield, my hiding-place;
My hope is in thy word.

ver. 112

Thou hast inclined this heart of mine
Thy statutes to fulfil;
And thus, till mortal life shall end,
Would I perform thy will.

by Isaac Watts.

Impromptu: To Frances Garnet Wolseley

Little maiden just beginning
To be comely, arch, and winning,
In whose form I catch the traces
Of your mother's gifts and graces,
And around whose head the glory
Of your father's growing story,
O'er whose cradle, fortune-guided,
Mars and Venus both presided,
May your fuller years inherit
Female charm and manly merit,
So that all may know who girt you
With vivacity and virtue,
Whence you had the luck to borrow
Pensive mien without its sorrow,
Dignity devoid of coldness,
Sprightliness without its boldness,
Raillery untipped by malice,
Playful wit and kindly sallies,
Eloquence averse from railing,
Each good point without its failing.
And when, little bud, you flower
Into maidenhood and power,
Fate no fainter heart allot you
Than the brave one that begot you,
So that you a race continue
Worthy of the blood within you,
Handing down the gifts you bring them,
With a better bard to sing them.

by Alfred Austin.