Poetry of Kansas
 

Confidence.

Is it better never to hope, than to hope in
      vain? 
Is it better never to strive, lest we never at- 
      tain? 
Is it better to cling to the shore and leave un- 
      tried 
Life's wide, deep sea, for dread of its storm 
      and tide ? 
 
Who ventures naught, he surely shall never
      win; 
He naught shall finish, who never doth aught 
      begin; 
The sun may shine and the heaven may shed 
      its rain, 
But only the sower may harvest his golden 
      grain. 
 
To-morrow, we know, is dark with its misty
      veil; 
The light on the path to-day is but dim and 
      pale; 
Blindly we grope our way__but 'tis better
      so__
What God hath hidden 'tis better we should 
      not know. 
 
Nobler and braver is he who stakes his all,
And takes his loss or gain as the chances fall, 
Than he who folds his hands and idly waits, 
Till the shadows gather darkly about his 
      gates. 
 
Shall we turn our head away from a sweet re-
      frain, 
Lest the pleasant song may turn to a dirge of 
          pain 
Shall we close our eyes to the ray in the mid- 
      night gloom, 
Lest it prove a lure that leads to the door of a 
      tomb 
 
Is it better never to love, lest love mistake ?
The passionate heart may quiver and ache 
      and break__
Yet give us the warm, rich wine, though well 
      we know 
That dregs as bitter as death may lie below. 
 
We sigh for the joys that were coming, and
      never came; 
We sit in the dark and weep, with our hearts 
      aflame; 
We feel the crush and the grind of the silent 
      mill__
Feel the crush and the grind, while our lips 
      are still. 
 
What, then! shall we spurn our life as a
      broken thing ? 
Shall we fling a curse in the face of Heaven's 
      King ? 
Happy is he who keepeth his trust through 
      all; 
He may shrink and shiver, and falter, but 
      shall not fall. 

__Ellen P. Allerton.

Annabel and Other Poems
Ellen P. Allerton
(New York: John B. Alden, Publisher. 1885)
Pages 146-147

 
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May 20, 2002 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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