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Poem by Edgar Albert Guest


If through the years we're not to do
Much finer deeds than we have done;
If we must merely wander through
Time's garden, idling in the sun;
If there is nothing big ahead,
Why do we fear to join the dead?
Unless to-morrow means that we
Shall do some needed service here;
That tasks are waiting you and me
That will be lost, save we appear;
Then why this dreadful thought of sorrow
That we may never see to-morrow?
If all our finest deeds are done,
And all our splendor's in the past;
If there's no battle to be won,
What matter if to-day's our last?
Is life so sweet that we would live
Though nothing back to life we give?
It is not greatness to have clung
To life through eighty fruitless years;
The man who dies in action, young,
Deserves our praises and our cheers,
Who ventures all for one great deed
And gives his life to serve life's need.

Edgar Albert Guest

Edgar Albert Guest's other poems:
  1. The March of Mortality
  2. The Truth about Envy
  3. As It Is!
  4. Since Jessie Died
  5. The Scoffer

Poems of the other poets with the same name:

  • William Howells Living ("HOW passionately I will my life away")
  • Edward Sill Living ("I thought, I will not plan nor strive")

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