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