Not on the neck of prince or hound,
Nor on a woman’s finger twin’d,
May gold from the deriding ground
Keep sacred that we sacred bind:
Only the heel
Of splendid steel
Shall stand secure on sliding fate,
When golden navies weep their freight.
The scarlet hat, the laurell’d stave
Are measures, not the springs, of worth;
In a wife’s lap, as in a grave,
Man’s airy notions mix with earth.
Seek other spur
Bravely to stir
The dust in this loud world, and tread
Alp-high among the whisp’ring dead.
Trust in thyself,–then spur amain:
So shall Charybdis wear a grace,
Grim Aetna laugh, the Libyan plain
Take roses to her shrivell’d face.
This orb–this round
Of sight and sound–
Count it the lists that God hath built
For haughty hearts to ride a-tilt.