Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895
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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895.  1895.
 
The Golden Text
 
George Frederick Cameron (1854–87)
 
 
YOU ask for fame or power?
  Then up, and take for text:-
This is my hour,
  And not the next, nor next!
 
Oh, wander not in ways        5
  Of ease or indolence!
Swift come the days,
  And swift the days go hence.
 
Strike! while the hand is strong:
  Strike! while you can and may:        10
Strength goes ere long,—
  Even yours will pass away.
 
Sweet seem the fields, and green,
  In which you fain would lie;
Sweet seems the scene        15
  That glads the idle eye;
 
Soft seems the path you tread,
  And balmy soft the air,—
Heaven overhead
  And all the earth seems fair;        20
 
But, would your heart aspire
  To noble things,—to claim
Bard’s, statesman’s fire—
  Some measure of their fame;
 
Or, would you seek and find        25
  The secret of success
With mortal kind?
  Then, up from idleness!
 
Up—up! all fame, all power
  Lies in this golden text:        30
This is my hour—
  And not the next nor next!
 

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