Say Not the Struggle Nought Availeth

Say Not the Struggle Nought Availeth

By Arthur Hugh Clough

Say not the struggle nought availeth,

    The labour and the wounds are vain,

The enemy faints not, nor faileth,

    And as things have been they remain.

If hopes were dupes, fears may be liars;

    It may be, in yon smoke concealed,

Your comrades chase e’en now the fliers,

    And, but for you, possess the field.

For while the tired waves, vainly breaking

    Seem here no painful inch to gain,

Far back through creeks and inlets making,

    Came, silent, flooding in, the main.

And not by eastern windows only,

     When daylight comes, comes in the light,

In front the sun climbs slow, how slowly,

     But westward, look, the land is bright.


Poem: My Creed

The poem My Creed by Edgar A. Guest is one I just ran across.  I can say with all honesty that I would love to adopt this poem as a simplified measuring rod for myself.  I think this poem can be both convicting and inspiring to any person who is trying to live an upright life.  I can’t say that this is all I need for a creed or philosophy, but it is certainly a good start.  There is a lot here.

My Creed

                        -Edgar A. Guest

To live as gently as I can;

To be, no matter where, a man;

To take what comes of good or ill

And cling to faith and honor still;

To do my best, and let that stand

The record of my brain and hand;

And then, should failure come to me,

Still work and hope for victory.

To have no secret place wherein

I stoop unseen to shame and sin;

To be the same when I’m alone

As when my every deed is known;

To live undaunted, unafraid

Of any step that I have made;

To be without pretense or sham;

Exactly what men think I am.

To leave some simple mark behind

To keep my having lived in mind;

If enmity to aught I show,

To be an honest, generous foe,

To play my little part, nor whine

That greater honors are not mine.

This, I believe is all I need

For my philosophy and creed.

~Wyatt Fairlead

Hard Knocks

Well, I thought I would post this poem by Edgar A. Guest, partly because it is really good, partly because I haven’t posted one in a while, but truth be told, mostly because I wanted to put something on, but I am not feeling very original at the moment.  So without further ado, here ‘tis.


Hard Knocks

            -Edgar A. Guest

I’m not the man to say that failure’s sweet,

Nor tell a chap to laugh when things go wrong;

I know it hurts to have to take defeat

An’ no one likes to loose before a throng;

It isn’t very pleasant not to win

When you have done the very best you could;

But if you’re down, get up and buckle in-

A lickin’ often does a fellow good.

I’ve seen some chaps who never knew their power

Until somebody knocked ‘em to the floor;

I’ve known men who discovered in an hour

A courage they had never shown before.

I’ve seen ‘em rise from failure to the top

By doin’ things they hadn’t understood

Before the day disaster made ‘em drop-

A lickin’ often does a fellow good.

Success is not the teacher, wise an’ true,

That gruff old failure is, remember that;

She’s much too apt to make a fool of you,

Which isn’t true of blows that knock you flat.

Hard knocks are painful things an’ hard to bear,

An’ most of us would dodge ‘em if we could;

There’s something mighty broadening in care-

A lickin’ often does a fellow good.

-Wyatt Fairlead

It Couldn’t Be Done

I have been feeling a little overwhelmed with school recently, which is sad because my load is pathetically light compared to some of my friends.  I have been trying to tell myself that for a while, but it would appear that discouragement is not necessarily overcome by rationality.  At any rate, I remembered this poem earlier today, and I thought I would share it with you.


It Couldn’t Be Done

By Edgar A. guest.

Somebody said that it couldn’t be done,

But he with a chuckle replied

That “maybe it couldn’t,” but he would be one

Who wouldn’t say so ‘till he’d tried.

So he buckled right in with a trace of a grin

On his face.  If he worried he hid it.

He started to sing as he tackled the thing

That couldn’t be done and he did it.

Somebody Scoffed: “Oh, you’ll never do that;

At least no one ever has done it;”

But he took off his coat and he took off his hat,

And the first thing we knew he’d begun it.

With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,

Without any doubting or quiddit.

He started to sing as he tackled the thing

That couldn’t be done, and he did it.

There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,

There are thousands to prophesy failure;

There are thousands to point out to you one by one

The dangers that wait to assail you.

But just buckle in with a bit of a grin,

Just take off your coat and go at it;

Just start to sing as you tackle the thing

That “cannot be done” and you’ll do it.

 Wyatt Fairlead

A Motivational Poem

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.

Wyatt Fairlead

The Bridge Builder

This is a poem that I memorized in second grade for our school’s poetry recitation and it has always stuck with me.  I think it just reminds me that I have responsibilities that I often forget and don’t take into consideration as I go about my daily life.

The Bridge Builder

 Will Allen Dromgoole

An old man going a lone highway,

Came, at the evening, cold and grey,

To a chasm, vast, and deep, and wide,

Through which was flowing a sullen tide.

The old man crossed in the twilight dim;

The sullen stream had no fears for him;

But he turned, when safe on the other side,

And built a bridge to span the tide.

“Old Man,” said a fellow pilgrim, near,

“You are wasting your strength with building here;

Your journey will end with the ending day;

You never again must pass this way;

You have crossed the chasm, deep and wide-

Why build you this bridge at eventide?”

The builder lifted his old grey head:

“Good friend, in the path I have come,” he said

“There followeth after me today

A youth, whose feet must pass this way.

This Chasm, which has been naught to me,

To that fair-haired youth may a pitfall be.

He to must cross in the twilight dim;

Good friend, I am building the bridge for him.”

            We are affected by the past.  When someone older than us has built us a bridge to cross the dangerous places in our life’s road, we should be eternally grateful.  On the other hand we must realize that we are someone else’s past.  In the future we will be the one’s who either did, or did not build those bridges for them to ease their road.  We have a responsibility to future generations.  When we can fight a battle for them we should try to help them along and not leave them to fight for themselves.  Many of us have been left a legacy of bridge building.  It should be our call to continue that legacy.

Wyatt Fairlead


How Did You Die?

Today has actually been a very nice day for me.  My studying went well and I can’t complain about anything else, but you know as well as I that nice days are not every day.  (And for me, nice days are greatly outnumbered by days that have been frustrating and tiring in some way or another.)  I get discouraged and my problems in life are so insignificant that it’s pathetic!  This is a poem that I have always found encouraging.  It is stuff that we have all probably heard before, but it’s still nice to hear again.  Hope you enjoy it as well.

How Did You Die

Edmund Vance Cooke

Did you tackle that trouble that came your way

With a resolute heart and cheerful?

Or hide your face from the light of day

With a craven soul and fearful?

Oh, a troubles a ton, or trouble’s an ounce,

Or trouble is what you make it,

And it isn’t the fact that you’re hurt that counts,

But only how did you take it?

You are beaten to Earth?  Well, well, what’s that!

Come up with a smiling face.

It’s nothing against you to fall down flat,

But to lie there – that’s disgrace.

The harder you’re thrown, why the higher you bounce’

Be proud of your blackened eye!

It isn’t the fact that you’re licked that counts,

It’s how did you fight – and why?

And though you be done to the death, what then?

If you battled the best you could,

If you played your part in the world of men,

Why, the Critic will call it good.

Death comes with a crawl, or it comes with a pounce,

And whether he’s slow or spry,

It isn’t the fact that you’re dead that counts,

But only how did you die?

Wyatt Fairlead