A poem by John Charles McNeill

He who wills life wills its condition sweet,
Having made love its mother, joy its quest,
That its perpetual sequence might not rest
On reason's dictum, cold and too discreet;

For reason moves with cautious, careful feet,
Debating whether life or death were best,
And why pale pain, not ruddy mirth, is guest
In many a heart which life hath set to beat.

But I will cast my fate with love, and trust
Her honeyed heart that guides the pollened bee
And sets the happy wing-seeds fluttering free;

And I will bless the law which saith, Thou must!
And, wet with sea or shod with weary dust,
Will follow back and back and back to thee!

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