lost shoes

“Run for your life!” as some scream through it...

I feel I’ve 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 too-oft been 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 all wisdom to my youthful dunce.
“Run for your life!” as some scream to save 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 brave it.

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    Poetry: Clôture de Jardin


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