Albert Pike

(1809-1891 / USA)

Ora Atque Labora


Pray And Work


Swiftly flashing, hoarsely dashing,
Onward rolls the mighty river;
Down it hurries to the sea,
Bounding on exultingly;
Still the lesson teaching ever,
ORA ATQUE LABORA!

Trembling fountains on blue mountains,
Murmuring and overflowing,
Through green valleys deep in hills,
Send down silver brooks and rills;
Singing, while in sunlight glowing,
ORA ATQUE LABORA!

Onward flowing, ever growing,
In its beauty each rejoices;
While on Night's delighted ear,
Through the amber atmosphere,
Sounds the murmur of their voices,
ORA ATQUE LABORA!

Archly glancing, lightly dancing,
See its eddies chase each other;
Round old roots they flashing whirl,
Over ringing pebbles curl;
Each one singing to his brother,
ORA ATQITE LABORA!

Still descending, mingling, blending,
Lo! a broad, majestic river!
Under whose perpetual shocks,
Lofty crags and columned rocks
Shaken, echo as they quiver,
ORA ATQUE LABORA!

Hoarsely roaring, swiftly pouring
Through tall mountains cloven asunder,
Over precipices steep,
Plunging to abysses deep,
Loud the cataract's voices thunder,
ORA ATQUE LABORA!

Sunlight shifting, white mist drifting
On its forehead, thence it marches,
Swelled with freshets and great rains,
Shouting through the fertile plains,
Spanned with aqueducts and arches,
ORA ATQUE LABORA!

Thus Endeavour striveth ever
For the thankless world's improvement;—
Each true thought and noble word,
By the dull earth, though unheard,
Making part of one great movement,—
ORA ATQUE LABORA!

Work then bravely, sternly, gravely,—
Life for this alone is given;
What is right, that boldly do,
Frankly speak out what is true,—
Leaving the result to Heaven,
ORA ATQUE LABORA!

Submitted: Monday, February 24, 2014
Edited: Monday, February 24, 2014

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