Men crawl in slime and wallow in the mud;
The Realist groans: "All life is mud ans slime!"
Men lie and steal and shed each other's blood;
And Realism sees but blood and crime.
Yet Right is just as real as Wrong,
The mountain peak is real as the ooze,
A curse is no more real than a song;
Among realities we need but choose.
The cynic sees the failure of To-day,
The Prophet cries the triumph of To-morrow,
Knowing the spirit in our clogging clay
That masters doubt, disaster, loss and sorrow.
Failure is but a passing weariness,
There is no final answer but Success.
The glaciers challenged: "Nay, you shall not pass!"
Sheer walls of granite frowned: "No Thoroughfare!"
Tremendous tempests swept the upper air;
Roaring: "You shall be scattered like blown grass!"
But still they climbed--across the glacial mass,
Up the sheer walls and faced the tempests there--
Blizzards whose snow was like fine-pounded glass;
And still they climbed--to icy bastions where
No other feet had trod. They failed, but Time
Will see them, or their like, upon the crest--
Men in whom burns the dogged will to climb
The rooftree of the world; within whose breast
There is a spirit mightier, more sublime
And loftier than the peak of Everest!