Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE GOOD COUNSEL, by WILLIAM ROSE BENET



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THE GOOD COUNSEL, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Ride thou for the crest, / beauty to thy breast
Last Line: For that beauty yet to be!
Subject(s): Beauty; Soul; Women


Ride thou for the crest,
Beauty to thy breast,
Life's alert unrest
Tugging at the bridle-rein!
Now by nothing cowed
Life above the crowd
Kinder sight than proud,
Humor beating down disdain.

Silvern to thine ear,
Heavenly bells to hear
Ring and ripple clear
Through the clouds of thine ascent,
On this narrow edge
Where but eagles fledge,
Though the thunder's sledge
Crack the lowering firmament.

Pine and mountain-ash
Splintered in that flash?
Bid thine heart abash
Not one whit—nor do thou swerve,
Though beset by wrath,
On the tortuous path
From one fear it hath!
All is planned to test thy nerve.

Is it hard to hold,
Through the numbing cold,
Onward, blithe and bold,
Relishing the thrills of pain,
And with sigh nor groan
Upward to no throne,
For the light alone
In thy soul—that seems to wane?

Yet, what would'st thou here,
On this swarming sphere,
Save to feed one clear
Light within, as best thou may'st?
Save each day again,
Fresh with strength for ten,
To achieve with men
Through the trials God hath graced?

Holding not aloof,
In thy light's behoof
Daring, showing proof
That good heart is thine and will;
Littleness abhorred;
Wary of reward;
Bidding light afford
Farther light beyond thee still.

Thus, with love for one
And her love alone
More than lip may own,
Raising her who raiseth thee,
Strive nor apprehend!
Make thy heart thy friend!
Look beyond the end
For that beauty yet to be!




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