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Short poem

John Greenleaf Whittier (1807-1892)

My Triumph

              1The autumn-time has come;
              2On woods that dream of bloom,
              3And over purpling vines,
              4The low sun fainter shines.

              5The aster-flower is failing,
              6The hazel's gold is paling;
              7Yet overhead more near
              8The eternal stars appear!

              9And present gratitude
            10Insures the future's good,
            11And for the things I see
            12I trust the things to be;

            13That in the paths untrod,
            14And the long days of God,
            15My feet shall still be led,
            16My heart be comforted.

            17O living friends who love me!
            18O dear ones gone above me!
            19Careless of other fame,
            20I leave to you my name.

            21Hide it from idle praises,
            22Save it from evil phrases:
            23Why, when dear lips that spake it
            24Are dumb, should strangers wake it?

            25Let the thick curtain fall;
            26I better know than all
            27How little I have gained,
            28How vast the unattained.

            29Not by the page word-painted
            30Let life be banned or sainted:
            31Deeper than written scroll
            32The colors of the soul.

            33Sweeter than any sung
            34My songs that found no tongue;
            35Nobler than any fact
            36My wish that failed of act.

            37Others shall sing the song,
            38Others shall right the wrong, --
            39Finish what I begin,
            40And all I fail of win.

            41What matter, I or they?
            42Mine or another's day,
            43So the right word be said
            44And life the sweeter made?

            45Hail to the coming singers!
            46Hail to the brave light-bringers!
            47Forward I reach and share
            48All that they sing and dare.

            49The airs of heaven blow o'er me;
            50A glory shines before me
            51Of what mankind shall be, --
            52Pure, generous, brave, and free.

            53A dream of man and woman
            54Diviner but still human,
            55Solving the riddle old,
            56Shaping the Age of Gold!

            57The love of God and neighbor;
            58An equal-handed labor;
            59The richer life, where beauty
            60Walks hand in hand with duty.

            61Ring, bells in unreared steeples,
            62The joy of unborn peoples!
            63Sound, trumpets far off blown,
            64Your triumph is my own!

            65Parcel and part of all,
            66I keep the festival,
            67Fore-reach the good to be,
            68And share the victory.

            69I feel the earth move sunward,
            70I join the great march onward,
            71And take, by faith, while living,
            72My freehold of thanksgiving.

Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: The Complete Poetical Works of John Greenleaf Whittier, Cambridge edition, ed. H. E. S. (Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1894): 406-07. PS 3250 E94 1894 Robarts Library.
First publication date: 1870
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: RPO 1998.
Recent editing: 2:2002/2/20

Rhyme: aabb

Other poems by John Greenleaf Whittier