We climb the slopes of life with throbbing heart,
And eager pulse, like children toward a star.
Sweet siren music cometh from afar,
To lure us on meanwhile. Responsive start
The nightingales to richer song than Art
Can ever teach. No passing shadows mar
Awhile the dewy skies; no inner jar
Of conflict bids us with our quest to part.
We see adown the distance, rainbow-arched,
What melting aisles of liquid light and bloom!
We hasten, tremulous, with lips all parched,
And eyes wide-stretched, nor dream of coming gloom.
Enough that something held almost divine
Within us ever stirs. Can we repine?
About this poem
Aspiration was originally published in Ray s 1910 collection Poems.
About Henrietta Cordelia Ray
Henrietta Cordelia Ray was born in New York City in 1849. She published a collection of sonnets in 1893 and another collection of poetry in 1910. In 1876, Ray s poem Lincoln was read at the unveiling of the Emancipation Memorial in Washington, D.C. Ray died in 1917.
The Academy of American Poets is a nonprofit, mission-driven organization, whose aim is to make poetry available to a wider audience.
This poem is in the public domain.
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