James Whitcomb Riley

(7 October 1849 - 22 July 1916 / Greenfield, Indiana)

Who Bides His Time


Who bides his time, and day by day
Faces defeat full patiently,
And lifts a mirthful roundelay,
However poor his fortunes be,--
He will not fail in any qualm
Of poverty -- the paltry dime
It will grow golden in his palm,
Who bides his time.

Who bides his time -- he tastes the sweet
Of honey in the saltest tear;
And though he fares with slowest feet,
Joy runs to meet him, drawing near;
The birds are hearalds of his cause;
And, like a never-ending rhyme,
The roadsides bloom in his applause,
Who bides his time.

Who bides his time, and fevers not
In the hot race that none achieves,
Shall wear cool-wreathen laurel, wrought
With crimson berries in the leaves;
And he shall reign a goodly king,
And sway his hand o'er every clime
With peace writ on his signet-ring,
Who bides his time.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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