Not a green leaf stirred on the air—
Not a bird did proclaim
Ancient grandeur and fame,
Only ruins faint mem’ries declare.
I marveled to think, How can greatness e’er die?
How can song disperse in the sky?
How can hopes and dreams fade?
How, the warrior’s sharp blade
Become dust? Was vict’ry a lie?
I stood there and pondered the great deeds of men’s past,
How, like clouds in the sunset, no glory can last.
Even we, as we labor to achieve some bright end,
Must accept, after glory, that the night will descend.
I’ve dreamed a broad rainbow over thicket and thorn,
Over crags that called, “Tarry: Your hopes are forlorn!”
All too oft, in my dreaming, courage turned to despair,
Till I learned that success is but the courage to dare.
As I gazed, and thought sadly of Tara’s demise,
Suddenly I saw her walls rise:
Saw her long, regal halls,
Heard her people’s brave calls—
As though time had doffed a disguise.
And I knew in that moment, the deeds that men do
Never die: Each vict’ry is true!
Ev’ry effort we spend
Gives more strength in the end,
Till our gladness in life’s ever new!