More Inspiration

James Ephraim McGirt

Success is a light upon the farther shore,

That shines in dazzling splendor to the eye,

The waters leap, the surging billows roar,

And he who seeks the prize must leap and try.

A might host stand trembling on the brink,

With anxious eyes they yearn to reach the goal.

I see them leap, and ah! I see them sink-

As gazing on dread horror fills my soul.

Yet to despair I can but droop and die,

‘Tis better far to try the lashing deep.

I much prefer beneath the surge to lie,

Than death to find me on this bank asleep.

Born like the pines to sing,
The harp and song in m' breast,
Though far and near,
There's none to hear,
I'll sing as th' winds request.
To tell the trend of m' lay,
Is not for th' harp or me;
I'm only to know,
From the winds that blow,
What th' theme of m' song shall be.
Born like the pines to sing,
The harp and th' song in m' breast,
As th' winds sweep by,
I'll laugh or cry,
In th' winds I cannot rest.

The spirit of the oak am I,
With head uplifted to the sky,
Though hail and storm beat in my face,
Through weal or woe I hold my place,
With head uplifted to the sky,
The spirit of the oak am I.
Birds I have sheltered many a year,
They hear the storm, desert in fear,
The strenuous eagle strives to stay,
But, ah! at last his heart gives way,
He stretches forth his feathered form,
And sails to heaven above the storm.
Devoid of every earthly friend,
I stand undaunted till the end,
With head uplifted to the sky—
The spirit of the oak am I.
And when the raging storm is o'er,
My feathered friends return once more,
And find me standing calm and free;
They chirp aloud and sing with glee,
With outstretched arm I bid them rest,
I hold no malice in my breast,
But welcome every passer-by —
The spirit of the oak am I.


by: George Moses Horton (c.1797-c.1883)

      LOWN up with painful care and hard to light,
      A glimmering torch blown in a moment out,
      Suspended by a web, an angler's bait,
      Floating at stake along the stream of chance,
      Snatch'd from its hook by the fish of poverty,
      A silent cavern is his last abode;
      The king's repository veil'd with gloom,
      The umbrage of a thousand oziers bowed,
      The couch of hallowed bones, the grave's asylum,
      The brave's retreat and end of ev'ry care.