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.