Courage (Wilcox)

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by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

There is a courage, a majestic thing
        That springs forth from the brow of pain, full-grown,
        Minerva-like, and dares all dangers known,
And all the threatening future yet may bring;
Crowned with the helmet of great suffering;
        Serene with that grand strength by martyrs shown,
        When at the stake they die and make no moan,
And even as the flames leap up are heard to sing:

A courage so sublime and unafraid,
        It wears its sorrows like a coat of mail;
        And Fate, the archer, passes by dismayed,
Knowing his best barbed arrows needs must fail
To pierce a soul so armored and arrayed
        That Death himself might look on it and quail.

from Poems of Passion by Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1883)

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