Wages

A poem by Alfred Tennyson

Glory of warrior, glory of orator, glory of song,
Paid with a voice flying by to be lost on an endless sea–
Glory of Virtue, to fight, to struggle, to right the wrong–
Nay, but she aim’d not at glory, no lover of glory she;
Give her the glory of going on, and still to be.

The wages of sin is death: if the wages of Virtue be dust,
Would she have heart to endure for the life of the worm and the fly?
She desires no isles of the blest, no quiet seats of the just,
To rest in a golden grove, or to bask in a summer sky;
Give her the wages of going on, and not to die.

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