Richard Hovey

(1864-1900 / United States)

At The Crossroads - Poem by Richard Hovey

You to the left and I to the right,
For the ways of men must sever—
And it well may be for a day and a night,
And it well may be forever.
But whether we meet or whether we part
(For our ways are past our knowing),
A pledge from the heart to its fellow heart
On the ways we all are going!
Here's luck!
For we know not where we are going.

Whether we win or whether we lose
With the hands that life is dealing,
It is not we nor the ways we choose
But the fall of the cards that's sealing.
There's a fate in love and a fate in fight,
And the best of us all go under—
And whether we're wrong or whether we're right,
We win, sometimes, to our wonder.
Here's luck!
That we may not yet go under!

With a steady swing and an open brow
We have tramped the ways together,
But we're clasping hands at the crossroads now
In the Fiend's own night for weather;
And whether we bleed or whether we smile
In the leagues that lie before us
The ways of life are many a mile
And the dark of Fate is o'er us.
Here's luck!
And a cheer for the dark before us!

You to the left and I to the right,
For the ways of men must sever,
And it well may be for a day and a night
And it well may be forever!
But whether we live or whether we die
(For the end is past our knowing),
Here's two frank hearts and the open sky,
Be a fair or an ill wind blowing!
Here's luck?
In the teeth of all winds blowing.

Comments about At The Crossroads by Richard Hovey

  • (6/17/2012 1:30:00 PM)

    In 1950/51, as a German exchange student at the George Washington High School of San Francisco, I chose
    the poem for a recital in Public Speaking, andI still have the handwritten copy I made then. It shows, in the
    last line but one, an exclamation mark rather than a question mark.

    Helge Jan Schmodde, Bad Soden, Germany
    (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Monday, April 12, 2010

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