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Poem by Coventry Patmore
Faint Yet Pursuing
Heroic Good, target for which the young Dream in their dreams that every bow is strung, And, missing, sigh Unfruitful, or as disbelievers die, Thee having miss'd, I will not so revolt, But lowlier shoot my bolt, And lowlier still, if still I may not reach, And my proud stomach teach That less than highest is good, and may be high. And even walk in life's uneven way, Though to have dreamt of flight and not to fly Be strange and sad, Is not a boon that's given to all who pray. If this I had I'd envy none! Nay, trod I straight for one Year, month or week, Should Heaven withdraw, and Satan me amerce Of power and joy, still would I seek Another victory with a like reverse; Because the good of victory does not die, As dies the failure's curse, And what we have to gain Is, not one battle, but a weary life's campaign. Yet meaner lot being sent Should more than me content; Yea, if I lie Among vile shards, though born for silver wings, In the strong flight and feathers gold Of whatsoever heavenward mounts and sings I must by admiration so comply That there I should my own delight behold. Yea, though I sin each day times seven, And dare not lift the fearfullest eyes to Heaven, Thanks must I give Because that seven times are not eight or nine, And that my darkness is all mine, And that I live Within this oak-shade one more minute even, Hearing the winds their Maker magnify.
Coventry Patmore's other poems:
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