AIEN ARISTEUEIN - James Joseph Sylvester Poems


Poems » james joseph sylvester » aien aristeuein


Ever to be the best. To lead
    In whatsoever things are true;
    Not stand among the halting crew
The faint of heart, the feeble-kneed,
Who tarry for a certain sign
    To make them follow with the rest --
Oh, let not their reproach be thine!
        But ever be the best.

For want of this aspiring soul,
    Great deeds on earth remain undone,
    But, sharpened by the sight of one,
Many shall press toward the goal,
Thou running foremost of the throng,
    The fire of striving in thy breast,
Shalt win, although the race be long,
        And ever be the best.

And wilt thou question of the prize?
    'Tis not of silver or of gold,
    Nor in applauses manifold,
But hidden in the heart it lies.
To know that but for thee not one
    Had run the race or sought the quest,
To know that thou hast ever done
        And ever been the best.