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To the thought of the preceding poem we have here a direct answer. No matter how a man may have failed in the past, the door of opportunity is always open to him. He should not give way to useless regrets; he should know that the future is within his control, that it will be what he chooses to make it.

HEY do me wrong who say I come no more


When once I knock and fail to find you in; For every day I stand outside your door,

And bid you wake, and rise to fight and win.

Wail not for precious chances passed away,
Weep not for golden ages on the wane!
Each night I burn the records of the day,-
At sunrise every soul is born again!

Laugh like a boy at splendors that have sped,
To vanished joys be blind and deaf and dumb;
My judgments seal the dead past with its dead,
But never bind a moment yet to come.

Though deep in mire, wring not your hands and weep;
I lend my arm to all who say "I can!"
No shame-faced outcast ever sank so deep,
But yet might rise and be again a man!

Dost thou behold thy lost youth all aghast?
Dost reel from righteous Retribution's blow?
Then turn from blotted archives of the past,
And find the future's pages white as snow.

Art thou a mourner? Rouse thee from thy spell; Art thou a sinner? Sins may be forgiven; Each morning gives thee wings to flee from hell, Each night a star to guide thy feet to heaven. Walter Malone.

Permission of

Mrs. Ella Malone Watson.


In this poem yet another view of opportunity is presented. The recreant or the dreamer complains that he has no real chance. He would succeed, he says, if he had but the implements of success-money, influence, social prestige, and the like. But success lies far less in implements than in the use we make of them. What one man throws away as useless, another man seizes as the best means of victory at hand. For every one of us the materials for achievement are sufficient. The spirit that prompts us is what ultimately counts.

THIS here spread a cloud of dust along a plain;

HIS I beheld, or dreamed it in a dream:

And underneath the cloud, or in it, raged

A furious battle, and men yelled, and swords
Shocked upon swords and shields. A prince's

Wavered, then staggered backward, hemmed by

A craven hung along the battle's edge,

And thought, "Had I a sword of keener steel-
That blue blade that the king's son bears,-but

Blunt thing!" he snapt and flung it from his

And lowering crept away and left the field.
Then came the king's son, wounded, sore bestead,
And weaponless, and saw the broken sword,
Hilt-buried in the dry and trodden sand,
And ran and snatched it, and with battle-shout
Lifted afresh he hewed his enemy down,
And saved a great cause that heroic day.

Edward Rowland Sill,

From "Poems,"
Houghton Mifflin Co.


Though dogs persist in barking at the moon, the moon's business is not to answer the dogs or to waste strength placating them, but simply to shine. The man who strives or succeeds is sure to be criticized. Is he therefore to abstain from all effort? We are responsible for our own lives and cannot regulate them according to other people's ideas. "Whoso would be a man," says Emerson, "must be a nonconformist."

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It's natchurl enugh, I guess,
When some gits more and some gits less,
Fer them-uns on the slimmest side
To claim it ain't a fare divide;

And I've knowed some to lay and wait,
And git up soon, and set up late,
To ketch some feller they could hate
For goin' at a faster gait.

My doctern is to lay aside
Contensions, and be satisfied:

Jest do your best, and praise er blame
That follers that, counts jest the same.
I've allus noticed grate success

Is mixed with troubles, more er less,
And it's the man who does the best
That gits more kicks than all the rest.

From the Biographical Edition

James Whitcomb Riley.

Of the Complete Works of James Whitcomb Riley,
Copyright, 1913.

Used by special permission of the publishers,

The Bobbs-Merrill Co.


This volume consists chiefly of contemporary or very recent verse. But it could not serve its full purpose without the presence, here and there, of older poems-of "classics." These express a truth, a mood, or a spirit that is universal, and they express it in words of noble dignity and beauty. They are not always easy to understand; they are crops we must patiently cultivate, not crops that volunteer. But they wear well; they grow upon us; we come back to them again and again, and still they are fresh, living, significant-not empty, meaningless, and weather-worn, like a last year's crow's nest.

Such a poem is Ulysses. It is shot through and through with the spirit of strenuous and never-ceasing endeavor-a spirit manifest in a hero who has every temptation to rest and enjoy. Ulysses is old. After ten long years of warfare before Troy, after endless misfortunes on his homeward voyage, after travels and experiences that have taken him everywhere and shown him everything that men know and do, he has returned to his rude native kingdom. He is reunited with his wife Penelope and his son Telemachus. He is rich and famous. Yet he is unsatisfied. The task and routine of governing a slow, materially minded people, though suited to his son's temperament, are unsuited to his. He wants to wear out rather than to rust out. He wants to discover what the world still holds. He wants to drink life to the lees. The morning has passed, the long day has waned, twilight and the darkness are at hand. But scant as are the years left to him, he will use them in a last, incomparable quest. He rallies his old comrades-tried men who always

"With a frolic welcome took

The thunder and the sunshine"

and asks them to brave with him once more the hazards and the hardships of the life of vast, unsubdued enterprise.

T little profits that an idle king,

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By this still hearth, among these barren crags,
Match'd with an aged wife, I mete and dole
Unequal laws unto a savage race,

That hoard, and sleep, and feed, and know not me.
I cannot rest from travel; I will drink

Life to the lees. All times I have enjoy'd
Greatly, have suffer'd greatly, both with those
That loved me, and alone; on shore, and when

Thro' scudding drifts the rainy Hyades
Vext the dim sea. I am become a name;
For always roaming with a hungry heart
Much have I seen and known,-cities of men
And manners, climates, councils, governments,
Myself not least, but honor'd of them all,-
And drunk delight of battle with my peers,
Far on the ringing plains of windy Troy.
I am a part of all that I have met;
Yet all experience is an arch wherethro'
Gleams that untravell'd world whose margin fades
For ever and for ever when I move.

How dull it is to pause, to make an end,
To rust unburnish'd, not to shine in use!
As tho' to breathe were life! Life piled on life
Were all too little, and of one to me

Little remains; but every hour is saved
From that eternal silence, something more,
A bringer of new things; and vile it were
For some three suns to store and hoard myself,
And this gray spirit yearning in desire
To follow knowledge like a sinking star,
Beyond the utmost bound of human thought.
This is my son, mine own Telemachus,
To whom I leave the sceptre and the isle,-
Well-beloved of me, discerning to fulfil
This labor, by slow prudence to make mild
A rugged people, and thro' soft degrees
Subdue them to the useful and the good.
Most blameless is he, centred in the sphere
Of common duties, decent not to fail
In offices of tenderness, and pay
Meet adoration to my household gods,
When I am gone. He works his work, I mine.
There lies the port; the vessel puffs her sail;
There gloom the dark, broad seas. My mariners,
Souls that have toil'd, and wrought, and thought
with me,-

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