GOING TO DOVER - Catherine Maria Fanshawe Poems


Poems » catherine maria fanshawe » going to dover


"Leg over leg
   As the dog went to Dover;
When he came to a stile,
   Jump he went over."

Perhaps you wouldn't see it here,
But, to my fancy, 't is quite clear
That Mother Goose just meant to show
How the dog Patience on doth go:
With steadfast nozzle, pointing low, --
Leg over leg, however slow, --
And labored breath, but naught complaining,
Still, at each footstep, somewhat gaining, --
Quietly plodding, mile on mile,
  And gathering for a nervous bound
At every interposing stile, --
  So traversing the tedious ground,
Till all, at length, he measures over,
And walks, a victor, into Dover.

And, verily, no other way
Doth human progress win the day;
Step after step, -- and o'er and o'er, --
Each seeming like the one before,
So that 't is only once a while, --
When sudden Genius springs the stile
That marks a section of the plain,
Beyond whose bound fresh fields again
Their widening stretch untrodden sweep, --
The world looks round to see the leap.
Pale Science, in her laboratory,
  Works on with crucible and wire
Unnoticed, till an instant glory
  Crowns some high issue, as with fire,
And men, with wondering eyes awide,
Gauge great Invention's giant stride.

No age, no race, no single soul,
By lofty tumbling gains the goal.
The steady pace it keeps between, --
The little points it makes unseen, --
By these, achieved in gathering might,
It moveth on, and out of sight,
And wins, through all that's overpast,
The city of it's hope at last.