Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919).  The Strenuous Life.  1900.

HOW dull it is to pause, to make an end, 
To rust unburnish'd, not to shine in use! 
As tho' to breathe were life. Life piled on life 
Were all too little, and of one to me 
Little remains: but every hour is saved         5
From that eternal silence, something more, 
A bringer of new things; and vile it were 
For some three suns to store and hoard myself, 
And this gray spirit yearning in desire 
To follow knowledge like a sinking star,10
Beyond the utmost bound of human thought. 
                                       ... My mariners, 
Souls that have toil'd, and wrought, and thought with me— 
That ever with a frolic welcome took 
The thunder and the sunshine, and opposed15
Free hearts, free foreheads—you and I are old; 
Old age hath yet his honor and his toil; 
Death closes all: but something ere the end, 
Some work of noble note, may yet be done,—
    .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .
Push off, and sitting well in order smite20
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds 
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths 
Of all the western stars, until I die. 
JA! diesem Sinne bin ich ganz ergeben,         
Dass ist der Weisheit letzter Schluss; 
Nur der verdient sich Freiheit wie das Leben, 
Der täglich sic erobern muss. 
Und so verbringt, umrungen von Gefahr, 
Hier Kindheit, Mann und Greis sein tüchtig Jahr. 
Solch' ein Gewimmel möcht' ich sehn, 
Auf freiem Grund mit freiem Volke stehn. 

    September, 1900.

Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2015 · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors · World Lit.