Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
1740. The Parting of the Ways
By Joseph B. Gilder
UNTRAMMELLED Giant of the West,
  With all of Nature’s gifts endowed,
With all of Heaven’s mercies blessed,
  Nor of thy power unduly proud—
Peerless in courage, force, and skill,        5
And godlike in thy strength of will,—
Before thy feet the ways divide:
  One path leads up to heights sublime;
Downward the other slopes, where bide
  The refuse and the wrecks of Time.        10
Choose then, nor falter at the start,
O choose the nobler path and part!
Be thou the guardian of the weak,
  Of the unfriended, thou the friend;
No guerdon for thy valor seek,        15
  No end beyond the avowêd end.
Wouldst thou thy godlike power preserve,
Be godlike in the will to serve!


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