Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
 
1026. The Ideal
 
By Francis Saltus Saltus
 
 
TOIL on, poor muser, to attain that goal
Where Art conceals its grandest, noblest prize;
Count every tear that dims your aching eyes,
Count all the years that seem as days, and roll
The death-tides slowly on; count all your sighs;        5
Search the wide, wondrous earth from pole to pole,
Tear unbelief from out your martyred soul;
Succumb not, chase despondency, be wise;
Work, toil, and struggle with the brush or pen,
Revel in rhyme, strain intellect and ken;        10
Live on and hope despite man’s sceptic leers;
Praise the Ideal with your every breath,
Give it life, youth and glory, blood and tears,
And to possess it pay its tribute—Death.
 

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