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
As when a father dies, his children draw About the empty hearth, their loss to cheat With uttered praise & love, & oft repeat His all-familiar words with whispered awe. The honored habit of his daily law, Not for his sake, but theirs whose feeble feet Need still that guiding lamp, whose faith, less sweet, Misses that tempered patience without flaw, So do we gather round thy vacant chair, In thine own elm-roofed, amber-rivered town, Master & Father! For the love we bear, Not for thy fame's sake, do we weave this crown, And feel thy presence in the sacred air, Forbidding us to weep that thou art gone.