Paul Laurence Dunbar

Not They Who Soar

  Not they who soar, but they who plod
  Their rugged way, unhelped, to God
  Are heroes; they who higher fare,
  And, flying, fan the upper air,
  Miss all the toil that hugs the sod.
  'Tis they whose backs have felt the rod,
  Whose feet have pressed the path unshod,
  May smile upon defeated care,
    Not they who soar.

  High up there are no thorns to prod,
  Nor boulders lurking 'neath the clod
  To turn the keenness of the share,
  For flight is ever free and rare;
  But heroes they the soil who 've trod,
    Not they who soar!

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