Arthur Henry Adams

6 December 1872 – 4 March 1936 / Lawrence / New Zealand

The Goal

ON the grey levels of the plain of life
When, slowly swirled,
The moving hills of morning mist
Hedged in the world—
While yet undared the path of toil and strife,
I found a friend
Whose faith I pictured would persist
Until the end.
Then peered the stooping sun across the plain—
The world he kissed;
In sudden glory shimmering
Flamed all the mist!
The sullen Darkness carried off his slain,
And straight away,
Like a forefinger beckoning,
The white road lay.
Her hand in mine, upon the path we pressed;
Together shared
The flowers we plucked—to find them pain;
And forward fared
Till we stood radiant on the mountain crest;
And still ahead,
Dipping to pleasant depths of plain,
The white road led.
But when I urged her onward to the end
Her heart peered out

Upon the road's unswerving leap
In dizzy doubt.
“Nay, we have reached the highest, why descend?”
Her lips demurred—
And with us, gazing at the steep,
There stood a third.
Her eyes clasped his in an embrace of love.
Said they: “No more;
Here on the crest is our abode,
Our journey o'er;
The goal for you!” So, leaving them above,
I went alone—
And still the arrow of the road
Sped on, straight on!
But darker and more desolate the way,
Until I turned—
Lo, in the halo of the sun
The lovers burned,
High on the mountain-top! Ah, what if they,
By passion kissed,
The goal of life and love have won,
And I have missed?
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