Francis William Bourdillon

(22 March 1852 – 13 January 1921 / Runcorn, Cheshire)

Excelsior Poem by Francis William Bourdillon


If one should strive to reach a star,
He would not build a ladder high,
Seek foot by foot to climb so far,
And step by step ascend the sky;

But he would seek the wild bird’s wings,
The secret of the lightning’s play,
Leap out upon the night’s blue rings,
And hail at dawn his wished-for day.

I will not vainly seek to thee
By ladder-steps of wealth or fame,
Till some few feet below me be
The world, thy distance still the same.

But I will seek that influence
By which all nature’s marvels move,
Till I, by flash or flight from hence,
Win to thee as on wings of Love.

Submitted: Thursday, April 8, 2010

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