Earnestness

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by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

The hurry of the times affects us so
        In this swift rushing hour, we crowd and press
And thrust each other backward as we go,
        And do not pause to lay sufficient stress
        Upon that good, strong, true word, Earnestness.
In our impetuous haste, could we but know
Its full, deep meaning, its vast import, oh,
        Then might we grasp the secret of success!
In that receding age when men were great,
        The bone and sinew of their purpose lay
        In this one word. God likes an earnest soul—
Too earnest to be eager. Soon or late
        It leaves the spent horde breathless by the way,
        And stands serene, triumphant at the goal.

from Poems of Passion by Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1883)

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