Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Paddle Your Own Canoe

Today my heart is heavy as I observe albeit helplessly the chaos unraveling in my beloved country in the wake of the last Presidential Elections. I call upon my fellow countrymen and citizens of the world to take Sarah Bolton's encouraging words and Paddle Their Own Canoes.

Voyager upon life's sea,
to yourself be true;
and where're your lot may be,
Paddle your own canoe.

Never, though the winds may rave,
falter nor look back,
but upon the darkest wave,
leave a shining track.

Nobly dare the wildest storm,
Stem the hardest gale,
Brave of heart and strong of arm,
you will never fail.
When the world is cold and dark,
Keep an end in view,
And toward the beacon mark
Paddle your own canoe.

Every wave that bears you on,

To the silent shore,
From its sunny source has gone
To return no more:
Then let not an hour's delay
Cheat you of your due;
But while it is called to-day,
Paddle your own canoe.

If your birth denied you wealth,
Lofty state, and power,
Honest fame and hardy health
Are a better dower;
But if theirs will not suffice,
Golden gain pursue,
And to win the glittering prize,
Paddle your own canoe.

Would you wrest the wreath of fame,
from the hand of Fate?
Would you write a deathless name
with the good and the great?
Would you bless your fellowmen?
Heart and soul imbue
with the holy task, and then
Paddle your own canoe.
Would you crush the tyrant Wrong,

in the world's fierce fight?
With a spirit brave and strong,
Battle for the Right;
and to break the chains that bind
The many to the few --
To enfranchise slavish mind,
Paddle your own canoe.

Nothing great is lightly won,
nothing won is lost ---
Every good deed nobly done,
Will repay the cost;
Leave to Heaven, in humble trust,
all you will to do;
But if you succeed, you must always
Paddle your own canoe.

- by Sarah Bolton, written in 1851.

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