Yet life is not a vision nor a prayer, But stubborn work; she may not shun her task. After the first compassion, none will spare Her portion and her work achieved, to ask. She pleads for respite,—she will come ere long When, resting by the roadside, she is strong. Nay, for the hurrying throng of passers-by Will crush her with their onward-rolling stream. Much must be done before the brief light die; She may not loiter, rapt in the vain dream. With unused trembling hands, and faltering feet, She staggers forth, her lot assigned to meet. But when she fills her days with duties done, Strange vigor comes, she is restored to health. New aims, new interests rise with each new sun, And life still holds for her unbounded wealth. All that seemed hard and toilsome now proves small, And naught may daunt her,—she hath strength for all.
Emma Lazarus - 1849-1887
Age and Death
Come closer, kind, white, long-familiar friend, Embrace me, fold me to thy broad, soft breast. Life has grown strange and cold, but thou dost bend Mild eyes of blessing wooing to my rest. So often hast thou come, and from my side So many hast thou lured, I only bide Thy beck, to follow glad thy steps divine. Thy world is peopled for me; this world's bare. Through all these years my couch thou didst prepare. Thou art supreme Love—kiss me—I am thine!