To live your life and take no chance,
To spend your days without one dare,
To eat and breathe and follow others,
And not one selfish deed prepare—-
That is to die before you live,
To cease before you be.
For living is more than existing,
Longevity’s in ego alone:
Eternal life is each hour true
To schemes and dreams of only you.
Don’t be an echo of a noisy crowd,
Or follow leaders with shadow stride;
Bolt your own road, and jag it now,
Your guide-light will be your own pride.
At each day’s end, however late,
You’ll know high joy above low fate;
While others pass in ordered herds
You’ll stand you master of these words:
“I am alive with all I am,
O’er State and God one honest man!”