Poetry of Kansas

Struggle.

Great strength is brought with pain,
From out the strife,
From out the storms that sweep
The human soul___
Those hidden tempests
Of the inner life___
Comes forth the lofty calm
Of self-control.
 
Peace after war. Although
The heart may be trampled
And plowed like a torn battle field,
Rich are the fruits that follow victory,
And the battle grounds
The fullest harvests yield.
 
Strong grows his arm who breasts
A downward stream,
And stems with steady stroke;
The mighty tide
Of his own passions. Sore
The wrench may seem,
But only he is strong
Whose strength is tried.
 
To toil is hard, to lay
Aside the oar,
To softly rise and fall
With passion's swell,
Is easier far. But when
The dream is o'er
The bitterness of waking
None can tell.
 
To float at ease, by sleepy
Zephyrs fanned,
Is but to grow more feeble
Day by day;
While slips life's little hour
Out, sand by sand,
And strength and hope together
Waste away.
 
He only wins who sets
His thews of steele
With tighter tensions for
The prick of pain;
Who wearies, yet stands fast;
Whose patient zeal
Welcomes the present loss
For future gain.
 
Toil before ease; the cross,
Before the crown.
Who covets rest, he first
Must earn the boom.
He who at night in peace
Would lay him down,
Must bear his load amid
The heats of noon.

__Ellen P. Allerton.

Walls of Corn and Other Poems
Ellen P. Allerton
(Hiawatha, KS: Harrington Printing Company. 1894)
Pages 228-229

 
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February 25, 2003 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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