I feel I have lived the long-suffering life
Of a hundred hopeful men,
Having scrambled up the scree of every craggy strife
Only to lose a shoe in the slide again;
Much stone I have chiseled with my artless hands—
To each place every tool I have carried—
Yet even my best has been blindly buried
By the drift of those hammer-made sands.
But of a hundred, I wish to be just one,
And the same one only once;
I’m not shy of regret but of an honor undone
And owe every wisdom to my youthful dunce.
“Run for your life!” as some scream through it,
When all hell nips the heels of those in a throe;
May I keep the courage to turn a timid toe
And not run for my life, but to it.