Poems (Coates 1916)/Volume I/Breathless We Strive

For other versions of this work, see Breathless We Strive.


BREATHLESS we strive, contending for success,
According to the standards of our day.
What is success? Is it to find a way
Wealth out of all proportion to possess?
Is it to care for simple pleasures less
(While grasping at a more extended sway),
And sacrificing to our gods of clay,
Submerge the soul, at last, in worldliness?

By Grasmere stands a cottage small and poor:
The Dove was once its emblem, and the sign
That marked it as a wayside inn obscure;
But, frugal, dwelt high consecration here,
And gratitude still guards it as a shrine,
Hallowed by that success which time but makes more dear!