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Westward Ho!
(20 April 1826 - 12 October 1887 / Stoke-on-Trent / England)

Westward Ho!

We should not sit us down and sigh,
My girl, whose brow a fane appears,
Whose steadfast eyes look royally
Backwards and forwards o'er the years--

The long, long years of conquered time,
The possible years unwon, that slope
Before us in the pale sublime
Of lives that have more faith than hope.

We dare not sit us down and dream
Fond dreams, as idle children do:
My forehead owns too many a seam,
And tears have worn their channels through

Your poor thin cheeks, which now I take
Twixt my two hands, caressing. Dear,
A little sunshine for my sake!
Although we're far on in the year.

Though all our violets, sweet! are dead,
The primrose lost from fields we knew,
Who knows that harvests may be spread
For reapers brave like me and you?

Who knows what bright October suns
May light up distant valleys mild,
Where as our pathway downward runs
We see Joy meet us, like a child

Who, sudden, by the roadside stands,
To kiss the travellers' weary brows,
And lead them through the twilight lands
Safely unto their Father's house.

So, we'll not dream, nor look back, dear!
But march right on, content and bold,
To where our life sets, heavenly clear,
Westward, behind the hills of gold.

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