by: John James Ingalls
- ASTER of human destinies am I!
- Fame, love, and fortune on my footsteps wait.
- Cities and fields I walk; I penetrate
- Deserts and seas remote, and passing by
- Hovel and mart and palace -- soon or late
- I knock, unbidden, once at every gate!
- If sleeping, wake -- if feasting, rise before
- I turn away. It is the hour of fate,
- And they who follow me reach every state
- Mortals desire, and conquer every foe
- Save death; but those who doubt or hesitate,
- Condemned to failure, penury, and woe,
- Seek me in vain and uselessly implore.
- I answer not, and I return no more!
MORE POEMS BY JOHN JAMES INGALLS
"Opportunity" is reprinted
from The Little Book of American Poets. Ed. Jessie B.
Rittenhouse. Cambridge: The Riverside Press, 1915.