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The Will to Climb

From the Grand Forks Daily Herald, July 17, 1915. By Ella Wheeler Wilcox.

Once as I toiled along the world’s rough road,
I longed to lift each fellow pilgrim’s load.
I yearned to smooth all obstacles away
And make the journey one glad holiday.
Now that so much of life’s long path is trod,
I better know the purposes of God.
As I come nearer to the final goal,
I grasp the meaning of the Over-Soul.
This is the message as it comes to me:
Do well the task thy Maker set for thee.
Cheer the despairing—ease his load a bit,
Or teach him how he best may carry it,
But do not lift it wholly, lest at length
Thy too great kindness rob him of his strength.
He wrongs his brother who performs his part,
Wake thou the sleeping Angel in each heart;
Inspire the doubting soul to search and find,
Then go thy way, nor wait for those behind.
Who tries may follow, and the goal attain;
Perpetual effort is the price of gain.
The gods make room upon the heights sublime,
Only for those who have the will to climb.

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