Vladimir Volegov Painting
Ellen M. H. Gates
If you cannot on the ocean
Sail among the swiftest fleet,
Rocking on the highest billows,
Laughing at the storms you meet;
You can stand among the sailors,
Anchored yet within the bay,
You can lend a hand to help them
As they launch their boats away.
If you are too weak to journey
Up the mountain steep and high,
You can stand within the valley.
While the multitudes go by;
You can chant in happy measure.
As they slowly pass along;
Though they may forget the singer
They will not forget the song.
If you cannot in the harvest
Garner up the richest sheaves
Many a grain, both ripe and golden,
Oft the careless reaper leaves;
Go and glean among the briars
Growing rank against the wall,
For it may be that their shadow
Hides the heaviest grain of all.
Do not, then, stand idly waiting,
For some greater work to do;
Fortune is a lazy goddess,
She will never come to you.
Go and toil in any vineyard,
Do not fear to do or dare,
If you want a field of labor.
You can find it anywhere.