Unto What End, I Ask

A poem by Madison Julius Cawein

Unto what end, I ask, unto what end
Is all this effort, this unrest and toil?
Work that avails not? strife and mad turmoil?
Ambitions vain that rack our hearts and rend?
Did labor but avail! did it defend
The soul from its despair, who would recoil
From sweet endeavor then? work that were oil
To still the storms that in the heart contend!
But still to see all effort valueless!
To toil in vain year after weary year
At Song! beholding every other Art
Considered more than Song's high holiness,
The difficult, the beautiful and dear!
Doth break my heart, ah God! doth break my heart!

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