Lines Written by Louisa M. Alcott to Her Father
Like Bunyan’s pilgrim with his pack,
Forth went the dreaming youth
To seek, to find, and make his own
Wisdom, virtue, and truth.
Life was his book, and patiently
He studied each hard page;
By turns reformer, outcast, priest,
Philosopher and sage.
Christ was his Master, and he made
His life a gospel sweet;
Plato and Pythagoras in him
Found a disciple meet.
The noblest and best his friends,
Faithful and fond, though few;
Eager to listen, learn, and pay
The love and honor due.
Power and place, silver and gold,
He neither asked nor sought;
Only to serve his fellowmen,
With heart and word and thought.
A pilgrim still, but in his pack
No sins to frighten or oppress;
But wisdom, morals, piety,
To teach, to warn and bless.
The world passed by, nor cared to take
The treasure he could give;
Apart he sat, content to wait
And beautifully live;
Unsaddened by long, lonely years
Of want, neglect, and wrong,
His soul to him a kingdom was,
Steadfast, serene, and strong.
Magnanimous and pure his life,
Tranquil its happy end;
Patience and peace his handmaids were,
Death an immortal friend.
For him no monuments need rise,
No laurels make his pall;
The mem’ry of the good and wise
Outshines, outlives them all.