Challenge

by John William Streets


Go tell yon shadows stalking 'ncath the trees
With silent-footed terror, go tell Death
He cannot with Life's vast uncertainties
Affright the heart of Youth ! for Youth Cometh
With flush of impulse, passion to defeat,
Undaunted purpose, vision clear descried.
To counteract, lay at Death's unseen feet
The gauntlet of defiance. Far and wide,
Beyond the fear of that unknown exile.
That brim of Time, that web of darkness drawn
Across Life's orient sky, there breaks a smile
Of light that swells into the hope of dawn :
A dream within the dark, like evening cool,
Like sunset mirror'd in yon darken'd pool.