Onward Keep

Onward keep! Forget the self that cried:
     “This world’s a forest choked with ice and
No spark of fire through it can ever ride,
    No human flame in it can ever glow.”
And keeping onward, now, I find
    The golden leaves of yesterday
All safely hidden from the wind
    Beneath the snow that melts away,
And on the shivering boughs
    New leaves and tender sprout;
They crown the winter’s brows,
    And laugh away his doubt.
And laugh away his doubt.
               And in the brook
                   The echoes of
               What I forsook––
                   What I did love.
               And the frost
                  ’Neath the breath
               Of me must
                    Welcome death;
               And the heat
                    Left behind
               Guides the feet
                    Of the blind.
               Onward keep;
               Laugh and weep;
                    Pain and joy
               Hide and peep.
                    Rise and fall––
               Fall and rise;
                    This is all––
               This is wise.

From Myrtle and Myrrh (The Gorham Press, 1905) by Ameen Rihani. This poem is in the public domain.