The House Of Life

A poem by Madison Julius Cawein

They are the wise who look before,
Nor fear to look behind;
Who in the darkness still ignore
Pale shadows of the mind.

Who, having lost, though loss be much,
Still dare to dream and do:
For what was shattered at a touch
It may be mended, too.

The House of Life hath many a door
That leads to many a room;
And only they who look before
Shall win beyond its gloom.

Who stand and sigh and look behind,
Regretful of past years,
No room, of all those rooms, shall find
That is not filled with fears.

'T is better not to stop or stay;
But set all fear aside,
Fling wide the door, whate'er the way,
And enter at a stride.

Who dares, may win to his desire;
Or, failing, reach the tower,
Whereon Life lights the beacon-fire
Of one immortal hour.

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