The Things That Haven’t Been Done Before
-by Edgar Guest
The things that haven’t been done before,
Those are the things to try;
Columbus dreamed of an unknown shore
At the rim of a far-flung sky,
And his heart was bold and his faith was strong
As he ventured in dangers new,
And he paid no heed to the jeering throng
Or the fears of the doubting crew.
The many will follow the beaten track
With guideposts on the way.
They live and have lived for ages back
With a chart for every day.
Someone has told them it’s safe to go
On the road he has traveled o’er,
And all they ever strive to know
Are the things that were known before.
A few strike out without map or chart,
Where never a man has been,
From the beaten paths they draw apart
To see what no man has seen.
There are deeds they hunger alone to do;
Though battered and bruised and sore,
They blaze the path for the many, who
Do nothing not done before.
The things that haven’t been done before
Are the tasks worthwhile today;
Are you one of the flock that follows, or
Are one that shall lead the way?
Are you one of the timid souls that quail
At the jeers of the doubting crew,
Or dare you, whether you win or fail,
Strike out for a goal that’s new?
I have always liked this poem since I memorized it in fourth grade. It is a very motivational poem, at least to me, and while I have never gone off the “beaten track” so to speak, it encourages me not to be easily discouraged when I try to do things that are new to me. (And I am very easily discouraged, as I almost always have unrealistic expectations of myself.) Hope this poem will give you a little boost towards whatever project you are working at in the coming week.