It is so much joy! ’T is so much joy!
If I should fail, what poverty!
And yet, as poor as I
Have ventured all upon a throw;
Have gained! Yes! Hesitated so
This side the victory!
Life is but life, and death but death!
Bliss is but bliss, and breath but breath!
And if, indeed, I fail,
At least to know the worst is sweet.
Defeat means nothing but defeat,
No drearier can prevail!
And if I gain, — oh, gun at sea,
Oh, bells that in the steeples be,
At first repeat it slow!
For Heaven is a different thing
Conjectured, and waked sudden in,
And might o’erwhelm me so!
First print Life IV, 4
Johnson 172 | Franklin 170
The text may be used under any of the following licenses:
CREATIVE COMMONS LICENSE 4.0, BY-SA 3.0, and LICENSE 2.5.
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