by: Elizabeth Oakes-Smith
- ND is this
life? and are we born for this?
- To follow phantoms that elude the grasp,
- Or whatso'er's secured, within our clasp,
- To withering lie, as if each mortal kiss
- Were doomed death's shuddering touch alone to meet.
- O Life! has thou reserved no cup of bliss?
- Must still THE UNATTAINED beguile our feet?
- The UNATTAINED with yearnings fill the breast,
- That rob, for aye, the spirit of its rest?
- Yes, this is Life; and everywhere we meet,
- Not victor crowns, but wailings of defeat;
- Yet faint thou not, thou dost apply a test,
- That shall incite thee onward, upward still,
- The present cannot sate, nor e'er thy spirit fill.
MORE POEMS BY ELIZABETH OAKES-SMITH
"The Unattained" is reprinted
from The Sinless Child and Other Poems. Elizabeth Oakes
Smith. New York: Wiley & Putnam, 1843.