The stream beholds but one bright sun,
And in a fair reflected beam
It sparkles till the day is done.
I know beneath that limpid tide,
In those cool depths, far out of sight,
Uncounted trout and bass abide
I know, and yet they never bite.
I know this is as fair a spot
As ever human heart could wish,
And yet the other side, I wot,
Looks like a better place to fish.
I've said that failure is a crime,
A culpable, excuseless thing,
And yet I know that I must climb
The hill path with an empty string.
I know that truth's a jewel bright,
I know it and I heave a sigh,
To think that I'll go home to-night
And tell a great, unholy lie.
__Albert Bigelow Paine.