"It Might Have Been"

We will be what we could be. Do not say,
"It might have been, had not this, or that, or this."
No fate can keep us from the chosen way;
He only might who is.

We will do what we could do. Do not dream
Chance leaves a hero, all uncrowned to grieve.
I hold, all men are greatly what they seem;
He does, who could achieve.

We will climb where we could climb. Tell me not
Of adverse storms that kept thee from the height.
What eagle ever missed the peak he sought?
He always climbs who might.

I do not like the phrase "It might have been!"
It lacks force, and life's best truths perverts:
For I believe we have, and reach, and win,
Whatever our deserts.

by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Other poems of WHEELER WILCOX (563)

Comments (16)

very nice poem, very beautifully framed.
reading this poem made me interested to read about the author. her interest in positive thinking—not a bad thing in itself—shows here, but i wonder, do eagles always make it to the peaks they seek? i have seen crows at the mercy of strong winds, and i wouldn't want to discount the tragedies others have endured that are way beyond my struggles. yet i find comfort in the idea that abraham hoped against hope. -gk
Wow...never say die ever! ! Powerful motivational poem. Dare we fail...thanks for posting.
Self-confidence, focus and determined efforts bring desired results. Exceptions may be there.
nice poem....thnx for sharing.......................
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