It is in failure, in distress,
When, reft of all, it stands alone,
And not in what men call success,
The noble, valiant soul is known.
He who perfection makes his aim
Shoots at a mark he may not reach;
The world may laugh, the world may blame.
And what it calls discretion preach.
And he will fail to win the goal
Which low ambition makes its own;
But, far beyond, his earnest soul
Stands in the light, though all alone.
It was through insult, pain, and loss
That Jesus won immortal power;
Thus the great failure of the cross
Was his triumphant, glorious hour.
Think not of failure or success;
He fails who has a low desire.
Up to the highest ever press,
Still onward, upward, higher! higher!
Make such thy purpose, such thy aim,
That they who watch thy spirit’s flight
Shall look to heaven from whence it came,
And loose thee in celestial light.