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
Late-born and woman-souled I dare not hope, The freshness of the elder lays, the might Of manly, modern passion shall alight Upon my Muse's lips, nor may I cope (Who veiled and screened by womanhood must grope) With the world's strong-armed warriors and recite The dangers, wounds, and triumphs of the fight; Twanging the full-stringed lyre through all its scope. But if thou ever in some lake-floored cave O'erbrowed by rocks, a wild voice wooed and heard, Answering at once from heaven and earth and wave, Lending elf-music to thy harshest word, Misprize thou not these echoes that belong To one in love with solitude and song.