If (Twixt what thou art, and what thou wouldst be, let...)
by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Twixt what thou art, and what thou wouldst be, let
If arise on which to lay the blame.
Man makes a mountain of that puny word,
But, like a blade of grass before the scythe,
It falls and withers when a human will,
Stirred by creative force, sweeps toward its aim.
Thou wilt be what thou couldst be. Circumstance
Is but the toy of genius. When a soul
Burns with a god-like purpose to achieve,
All obstacles between it and its goal
Must vanish as the dew before the sun.
If is the motto of the dilettante
And idle dreamer;'tis the poor excuse
Of mediocrity. The truly great
Know not the word, or know it but to scorn,
Else had Joan of Arc a peasant died,
Uncrowned by glory and by men unsung.
Source:Custer And Other Poems
W. B. Conkey Company, Chicago