I would not tarry if I could be gone
Adown the path where calls my eager mind.
That fate which knows naught but to grip and bind
Holds me within its grasp, a helpless pawn,
And checks my steps when I would travel on.
Forever shall my body lag behind,
And in this valley with the moaning wind
Must I abide with never a glimpse of dawn?
Though bends my body towards the yawning sod,
I can endure the pain, the sorrows rife,
That hold me fast beneath their chastening rod,
If from this turmoil and this endless strife,
Comes there a light to lead man nearer God,
And guide his footsteps toward the Larger Life.
This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on February 25, 2024, by the Academy of American Poets.