I have my own ambition. It is not
To mount on eagles' wings and soar away
Beyond the palings of the common lot,
Scorning the griefs and joys of every day;
I would be human, toiling like the rest,
With tender, human heart-beats in my breast.
Not on cold, lonely heights, above the ken
Of common mortals, would I build my fame,
But in the kindly hearts of living men.
There, if permitted, would I write my name;
Who builds above the clouds must dwell alone-
I count good-fellowship above a throne.
And so beside my door I sit and sing
My simple strains, now sad, now light and gay;
Happy if this or that but wake one string
Whose low, sweet echoes give me back the lay;
And happier still if, girded by my song,
Some strained and tempted soul stands firm and strong.
Humanity is much the same; if I
Can give my neighbor's pent-up thought a tongue,
And can give voice to his unspoken cry
Of bitter pain, when my own heart is wrung,
Then we two meet upon a common land,
And henceforth stand together, hand in hand.
I send my thought its kindred thought to greet,
Out to the far frontier, through crowded town.
Friendship is precious, sympathy is sweet
So these be mine I ask no laurel crown.
Such my ambition, which I here unfold ;
So it be granted, mine is wealth untold.
Ellen P. Allerton