Slow moves the pageant of a climbing race;
   Their footsteps drag far, far below the height,
   And, unprevailing by their utmost might,
Seem faltering downward from each hard won place.
No strange, swift-sprung exception we; we trace
   A devious way thro’ dim, uncertain light,—
   Our hope, through the long vistaed years, a sight
Of that our Captain’s soul sees face to face.

   Who, faithless, faltering that the road is steep,
Now raiseth up his drear insistent cry?
   Who stoppeth here to spend a while in sleep
Or curseth that the storm obscures the sky?
   Heed not the darkness round you, dull and deep;
The clouds grow thickest when the summit’s nigh.

This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on February 26, 2023, by the Academy of American Poets.