Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. III. Sorrow and Consolation
Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume III. Sorrow and Consolation.  1904.
IV. Comfort and Cheer
Never Despair
William Smith O’Brien (1803–1864)
NEVER 1 despair! Let the feeble in spirit
  Bow like the willow that stoops to the blast.
Droop not in peril! ’T is manhood’s true merit
  Nobly to struggle and hope to the last.
When by the sunshine of fortune forsaken        5
  Faint sinks the heart of the feeble with fear,
Stand like the oak of the forest—unshaken,
  Never despair—Boys—oh! never despair.
Never despair! Though adversity rages,
  Fiercely and fell as the surge on the shore,        10
Firm as the rock of the ocean for ages,
  Stem the rude torrent till danger is o’er.
Fate with its whirlwind our joys may all sever,
  True to ourselves, we have nothing to fear.
Be this our hope and our anchor for ever—        15
  Never despair—Boys—oh! never despair.
Note 1. These lines were sent to me by William Smith O’Brien, the evening of Monday, October 8, 1848, the day on which sentence of death was passed upon him.
  October 12, 1848. [back]

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