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Poem by Ella Wheeler Wilcox


It Might Have Been


We will be what we could be. Do not say,
It might have been, had not this, or that, or this.
No fate can keep us from the chosen way;
He only might who is.

We will do what we could do. Do not dream
Chance leaves a hero, all uncrowned to grieve.
I hold, all men are greatly what they seem;
He does, who could achieve.

We will climb where we could climb. Tell me not
Of adverse storms that kept thee from the height.
What eagle ever missed the peak he sought?
He always climbs who might.

I do not like the phrase It might have been!
It lacks force, and lifes best truths perverts:
For I believe we have, and reach, and win,
Whatever our deserts.



Ella Wheeler Wilcox


Ella Wheeler Wilcox's other poems:
  1. The Birth of the Opal
  2. At Forty-Eight
  3. Artist and Man
  4. As by Fire
  5. But a Dream


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