I have a life I can’t escape,
A life that’s mine to mold and shape,
Some things I lack of strength and skill,
I blunder much and fumble; still I can in my own way design
What is to be this life of mine.
It is not mine to say how much
Of gold and silver I shall clutch,
What heights of glory I shall climb,
What splendid deeds achieve in time;
Lacking the genius of the great
The lesser tasks may be my fate.
But I can say what I shall be,
What in my life the world shall see;
Can mold my thoughts and actions here
To what is fine or what is drear.
Through small my skill, I can elect
To keep or lose my self-respect.
No man can kindlier be than I,
No man can more detest a lie,
I can be just as clean and true
As any gifted genius, who
Rises to earthly heights of fame
And wins at last the world’s acclaim.
I can be friendly, blithe of heart,
Can build or tear my life apart.
Can happy-natured smile along
And shrug my shoulders at a wrong
I only choose what is to be
This life which symbolizes me.
— Collected Verse of Edgar A. Guest
My father Dorland, the Scotsman, had surprising interests and virtues. I was perusing today one of my bookcases and opened this book of poems that he had. Thanks Dad.
Paper: Moleskine Sketchbook
Fountain Pen: Sailor Desk EF
Ink: Black Carbon Ink
Location: Rigaud, Québec, Canada