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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908). A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895. 1895.

George Frederick Cameron 1854–87

The Golden Text

YOU ask for fame or power?

Then up, and take for text:-

This is my hour,

And not the next, nor next!

Oh, wander not in ways

Of ease or indolence!

Swift come the days,

And swift the days go hence.

Strike! while the hand is strong:

Strike! while you can and may:

Strength goes ere long,—

Even yours will pass away.

Sweet seem the fields, and green,

In which you fain would lie;

Sweet seems the scene

That glads the idle eye;

Soft seems the path you tread,

And balmy soft the air,—

Heaven overhead

And all the earth seems fair;

But, would your heart aspire

To noble things,—to claim

Bard’s, statesman’s fire—

Some measure of their fame;

Or, would you seek and find

The secret of success

With mortal kind?

Then, up from idleness!

Up—up! all fame, all power

Lies in this golden text:

This is my hour—

And not the next nor next!