Sic Vos Poem by Ada Cambridge!
Ye, that the untrod paths have braved,
With heart and brain unbound;
Who ask not that your souls be saved,
But that the Truth be found;
Whose fiery cross is borne unseen,
Whose meek brows, bleeding but serene
With only thorns are crowned;
Who, still and steadfast, stand for Right,
Though none acclaim and none requite:
Who learn how little is the sum
Of all that Truth can teach,
And where the serried boundaries come
That bar your utmost reach;
For whom so sage, no saint, can find
A clue to aught that lies behind;
For whom the preachers preach
Only to leave ye at the door
That opens to their knock no more:
Who, listening in the trackless night,
Hearing no bugle-call,
Still fight, undaunted, the good fight,
And never fail or fall;
Who, standing on an inch of ground,
Feel the Infinities around,
Yet dare to face it all,
And keep the life ye hold in trust
Safe from besetting moth and rust.
Life – tragic mystery of Man –
Strange tale of joy and grief!
Chaff for the errant winds to fan,
A bubble bright and brief,
That floats and shines and bursts unseen,
And leaves no trace where it has been;
Like thistle-down and leaf,
That in soft airs of autumn dance,
The helpless sport of Fate and Chance.
Ye, who can see the case so clear,
And scorn to cringe and moan,
Who follow humbly, without fear,
The soul’s behest alone;
Content to suffer for the sake
Of faithful manhood, and to make
A loftier stepping-stone,
A straighter way, a smoother street,
For tread of unborn children’s feet.
Ye, whom the children’s sorrows rend,
And who despise the smart,
Who walk uprightly to the end
With an undoubting heart,
To take the guerdon of your pain –
Death, with no hope to live again –
Ye have the better part,
Salt of the world, that keeps it sound!
Kings that shall yet be throned and crowned.