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Poem by Robert William Service


A Song of Success


Ho! we were strong, we were swift, we were brave.
Youth was a challenge, and Life was a fight.
All that was best in us gladly we gave,
Sprang from the rally, and leapt for the height.
Smiling is Love in a foam of Spring flowers:
Harden our hearts to him -- on let us press!
Oh, what a triumph and pride shall be ours!
See where it beacons, the star of success!

Cares seem to crowd on us -- so much to do;
New fields to conquer, and time's on the wing.
Grey hairs are showing, a wrinkle or two;
Somehow our footstep is losing its spring.
Pleasure's forsaken us, Love ceased to smile;
Youth has been funeralled; Age travels fast.
Sometimes we wonder: is it worth while?
There! we have gained to the summit at last.

Aye, we have triumphed! Now must we haste,
Revel in victory... why! what is wrong?
Life's choicest vintage is flat to the taste --
Are we too late? Have we laboured too long?
Wealth, power, fame we hold... ah! but the truth:
Would we not give this vain glory of ours
For one mad, glad year of glorious youth,
Life in the Springtide, and Love in the flowers.



Robert William Service


Robert William Service's other poems:
  1. The Centenarian
  2. Prelude (I sing no idle songs of dalliance days)
  3. Sensibility
  4. The Prospector
  5. Man Child


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