Edgar Albert Guest
The saddest sort of death to die
Would be to quit the game called life
And know, beneath the gentle sky,
You'd lived a slacker in the strife.
That nothing men on earth would find
To mark the spot that you had filled;
That you must go and leave behind
No patch of soil your hands had tilled.
I know no greater shame than this:
To feel that yours were empty years;
That after death no man would miss
Your presence in this vale of tears;
That you had breathed the fragrant air
And sat by kindly fires that burn,
And in earth's riches had a share
But gave no labor in return.
Yet some men die this way, nor care:
They enter and they leave life's door
And at the end, their record's bare—
The world's no better than before.
A few false tears are shed, and then,
In busy service, they're forgot.
We have no time to mourn for men
Who lived on earth but served it not.
A man in perfect peace to die
Must leave some mark of toil behind,
Some building towering to the sky,
Some symbol that his heart was kind,
Some roadway where strange feet may tread
That out of gratitude he made;
He cannot bravely look ahead
Unless his debt to life is paid.
Edgar Albert Guest's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (Life's Slacker by Edgar Albert Guest )
- The Book O' Life, Sir Toby
- Performing To Do Well, Lawrence S. Pertillar
- Wear a Cons Smile, Kevin Patrick
- Being aware, hasmukh amathalal
- Needed, Michael McParland
- Glory dies with memory., Rm.Shanmugam Chettiar.
- Sources and termination, Rm.Shanmugam Chettiar.
- Blood Red Candle, Arrianna Prentiss
- Hugh in a Nutshell, Arrianna Prentiss
- Painting Tomorrow, Cathy Hodgson
Poem of the Day
- 04 Tongues Made Of Glass, Shaun Shane
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- Dreams, Langston Hughes
- Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
- Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
- Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
- I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
- If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
- If, Rudyard Kipling
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
- Heather Burns
William Butler Yeats
(13 June 1865 – 28 January 1939)
(31 October 1795 – 23 February 1821)