Mastery

Guard me and save me, Muse, I pray,
From all who babble night and day
The doctrine that Intention high
Lifts Unachievement to the sky,
And that a mighty Will to sing
Makes the mere Power a needless thing!
Trench me around from such as prate
That only he who fails is great.

O, the brave tourneys of the Lyre
Are won by prowess , not desire,
And Art is capture , not pursuit—
Capture and conquest absolute,
Bliss of possession without bar.
And they the trophied hunters are,
Who from their cloudless brows efface
The last motes of the dust of chase,
Ev'n as great Victors let us see
Nought in their eyes save Victory.

The steeds of Helios will obey
None but the charioteer of day.
They bear, delighted, the command
Of his inexorable hand;
But if a meddler take the reins,
They rear, they toss their flaming manes,
Crash backward, or ramp wild anon,
In boundless scorn of Phaëthon.
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