The Ideal

Francis S Saltus

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TOIL on, poor muser, to attain that goal
Where Art conceals its grandest, noblest prize;
Count every tear that dims your aching eyes,
Count all the years that seem as days, and roll
The death-tides slowly on; count all your sighs;
Search the wide, wondrous earth from pole to pole,
Tear unbelief from out your martyred soul;
Succumb not, chase despondency, be wise;
Work, toil, and struggle with the brush or pen,
Revel in rhyme, strain intellect and ken;
Live on and hope despite man's skeptic leers;
Praise the Ideal with your every breath,
Give it life, youth and glory, blood and tears,
And to possess it pay its tribute--Death.

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