Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. VI. Fancy: Sentiment
Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume VI. Fancy.  1904.
Poems of Sentiment: VI. Labor and Rest
Haste not! Rest not!
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749–1832)
Anonymous translation from the German

“Ohne Hast, ohne Rast.”

WITHOUT haste! without rest!
Bind the motto to thy breast;
Bear it with thee as a spell:
Storm and sunshine guard it well!
Heed not flowers that round thee bloom,        5
Bear it onward to the tomb.
Haste not! Let no thoughtless deed
Mar for aye the spirit’s speed;
Ponder well, and know the right;
Onward, then, with all thy might.        10
Haste not! Years can ne’er atone
For one reckless action done.
Rest not! Life is sweeping by;
Go and dare before you die:
Something mighty and sublime        15
Leave behind to conquer time!
Glorious ’t is to live for aye,
When these forms have passed away.
Haste not! Rest not! Calmly wait;
Meekly bear the storms of fate!        20
Duty be thy polar guide,—
Do the right, whate’er betide!
Haste not! Rest not! Conflicts past,
God shall crown thy work at last.

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