John Hay (8 October 1838 – 1 July 1905 / Salem, Indiana)
I strove, like Israel, with my youth,
And said, Till thou bestow
Upon my life Love's joy and truth,
I will not let thee go.
And sudden on my night there woke
The trouble of the dawn;
Out of the east the red light broke,
To broaden on and on.
And now let death be far or nigh,
Let fortune gloom or shine,
I cannot all untimely die,
For love, for love is mine.
My days are tuned to finer chords,
And lit by higher suns;
Through all my thoughts and all my words
A purer purpose runs.
The blank page of my heart grows rife
With wealth of tender lore;
Her image, stamped upon my life,
Gives value evermore.
She is so noble, firm, and true,
I drink truth from her eyes,
As violets gain the heaven's own blue
In gazing at the skies.
No matter if my hands attain
The golden crown or cross;
Only to love is such a gain
That losing is not loss.
And thus whatever fate betide
Of rapture or of pain,
If storm or sun the future hide,
My love is not in vain.
So only thanks are on my lips;
And through my love I see
My earliest dreams, like freighted ships,
Come sailing home to me.
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