Ideals (poem)

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Herman Kuehn

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IDEALS.

By Herman Kuehn.

O, weary the pace and dreary the chase,
And cheerless the long futile quest
Of the phantom grace we follow apace
With th' unrest of "Hope," in the breast.


O, sheer are the steeps and endless the deeps
We climb in conviction's pursuit;
Of dreamtlme heaps one sees as he sleeps—
And awakes to find ashes not fruit.


Why yield to the thralls of phantasy's call
Toward the faraway "castles in Spain,"
On whose listening walls the ghost-lights fall,—
And whose portals no mortals attain?


The reason why we aspire and die
In fruitless pursuit and vain,
Is that reared In a lie we follow a He
And sneer at the truth In disdain.


Ideals we chase and we fall in the race,
Aweary and spent with despair;
While the bliss we have sought in our headlong pace
Has been close to us everywhere.


Yet preachers will preach that Ideals b'yond reach
Are more blessed than joys close to hand;
And we blindly believe as blindly they teach
What nor pupils nor sage understand


But this we may know as wiser we grow,
That we lay up but treasure of sorrow,
If from us we throw the joy and the glow
Of to-day for the hope of to-morrow.



  • Herman Kuehn, “Ideals,” To-Morrow 3, no. 3 (March 1907): 56.