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Thomas R. Lounsbury, ed. (1838–1915). Yale Book of American Verse. 1912.

John James Ingalls 1833–1900

John James Ingalls

186 Opportunity

“MASTER of human destinies am I!

Fame, love, and fortune on my footsteps wait.

Cities and fields I walk; I penetrate

Deserts and seas remote, and passing by

Hovel and mart and palace—soon or late

I knock unbidden once at every gate!

“If sleeping, wake—if feasting, rise before

I turn away. It is the hour of fate,

And they who follow me reach every state

Mortals desire, and conquer every foe

Save death; but those who doubt or hesitate,

Condemned to failure, penury, and woe,

Seek me in vain and uselessly implore.

I answer not, and I return no more!”