Verse > Anthologies > Samuel Kettell, ed. > Specimens of American Poetry
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Samuel Kettell, ed.  Specimens of American Poetry.  1829.
 
Extract from a Poem Delivered at the Departure of the Senior Class of Yale College, in 1826
By Nathaniel Parker Willis (1806–1867)
 
  WHAT is its earthly victory? Press on!
For it hath tempted angels. Yet press on!
For it shall make you mighty among men;
And from the eyrie of your eagle thought,
Ye shall look down on monarchs. Oh! press on!        5
For the high ones and powerful shall come
To do you reverence; and the beautiful
Will know the purer language of your brow,
And read it like a talisman of love!
Press on! for it is godlike to unloose        10
The spirit, and forget yourself in thought;
Bending a pinion for the deeper sky,
And in the very fetters of your flesh,
Mating with the pure essences of heaven!
Press on!—“for in the grave there is no work,        15
And no device.”—Press on! while yet ye may!
 
 
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