Down the long road, bent and brown,
Youth, that dearly loves a vision,
Ventures to the gate Elysian,
As a pilgrim from the town.
Coming not so late, so far,
Rocks and birches! for your story;
Not to prate on vanished glory
Where of old was quenched a star;
Where of old, in lapse of toil,
Time but mocked a prayer pathetic;
Where the flower of good prophetic
Starved in our New England soil.
Ah! to Youth with radiant eyes,
For whom grief is not, nor daunting,
Lost glad voices still are chanting
‘Neath those unremaining skies,
Still the dreams of fellowship
Beat their wings of aspiration;
And a smile of soft elation
Trembles from its haughty lip
If another dare deride
Hopes heroic snapped and parted,
Disillusion so high-hearted
All success is mean beside.