Albery Allson Whitman

To The Student

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Who flees the regions of the lower mind,
Where these distempers breathe on every wind:
Infectious dogmatisms, noxious hate,
Old snarly spleen, and troublesome debate,
Dull bigotry, and stupid ignorance,
Proud egotism, empty arrogance,
And famous hollowness, and brilliant woe --
And would to knowledge's high places go,
Must first in humble prayer approach the Throne
Of the Almighty Mind, and there make known
The purposes that swell an honest heart;
Then on the path before him, meekly start:
Asking of others who have been that way,
What of the country, and what of the day?
Being certain ever to give earnest heed
To where the steps of hoar experience lead.
Mark him who ventures these means to despise,
And tho' his works in gloomy grandeur rise,
Awe strike all earth, and threaten e'en the skies;
Yea, "tho' he flourish like a green bay tree,"
His life will a stupeduous failure be.
'Tis vain to soar aloft on borrowed wing,
Or drink success from favor's flowing spring.
Let him who journeys upward, learn the way,
By toiling step by step, and day by day.
Each hardship mounted, easier makes the next,
And leaves his pathway by one less perplext.
Lo! where yon dreamer looks on glory's hill,
Hopes to ascend without the manly will,
Bends round and round some open pass to try
With easy access, and ascend on high;
Waits for some helper till the day is past,
And night o'ertakes a sycophant at last.
But honest courage, see with manful strides,
Walks on and enters at the steepest sides,
Climbs long and slowly up his rugged path,
Awaits no aid, relies on what he hath,
Grows independent as his way proceeds,
As progress roughens, less the distance heeds,
Till lo! the utmost hights his footsteps meet,
With fames and fortunes lying at his feet.
Then Kings delight to honor Glory's son,
And loud applauses in his footsteps run.
Then mankind crave the favor of his eyes,
And heap his lasting tributes to the skies.

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Albery Allson Whitman