Too late the prize is drawn, the goal attained.
Too late, too late, our heart's desire is gained.
Wealth's use is past; Fame's crown of laurel mocks
The downward drooping head and grizzled locks.
The end is reached — the end of toil and strife —
The end of life.
Love flowers and fades like grass, and flowers again,
And strong young hearts spend all their strength in vain.
The fiery passions burn out, one by one,
And then, too late, when our best days are done,
Spirit and body find their perfect mate —
Too late, too late!
Long sought, long seeking, through the lonely years,
We meet at last to weep our useless tears
For time and chance irrevocably flown,
For dreams outlived and fervent hopes outgrown,
For babes unborn, for myriad joys unseen,
That might have been.
Too late, too late! And yet the priceless boon
Might ne'er have come to bless us, late or soon;
And only comes, like Holy Grail, to those
Made wise and pure by bitter needs and woes.
We learn the worth of life when life is o'er,
And not before.
Not for the spring and morning time of youth
The perfect flower of slow- unfolding truth —
The perfect love, deep, passionate, and strong,
That comes of wanting much and waiting long.
This glorious fire is of the setting sun
When day is done.
This harvest wealth, this crowning gift of fate,
This fruit of suffering years, must aye come late;
And only seeking spirit and ripe mind —
Only a few — the matchless treasure find,
And find, despite all time and chances lost,
'Twas worth the cost.
Ah me! To stand upon this height at last,
Ere eyes are dim or daylight overpast;
To see one aim achieved, one dream fulfilled,
Ere striving brain and hoping heart are stilled;
To know that we have borne a lifelong pain
Not all in vain!
O, not too late, if once we reach the goal —
If once we satisfy this hungry soul —
If only for a year, a day, an hour,
We drink our fill of life's true bliss and power.
If we but touch that point, we conquer fate
Not quite too late!
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