This is a poem I found in my father’s papers. It was written when he was a young man and betrays an introspective, and spiritual frame of mind. His ambition – unrealised as it transpired – was to be a writer.
Oh, that ambition could run its course undaunted,
as winding streamlets through sweet valleys flow,
that obstacles would melt, and the pass unguarded,
but the less thorny where most feet tend to go.
But alas! This world is full of cloud and shadow,
which dulls ambitions glitter with its gloom.
All that this hill would not appear so unhallow,
as if it were full of diamonds, not of doom.
For when ambition is stricken with a malady,
as off the bloom of youth is crippled to,
the path its lustre loses and a flood of sea,
drowns the once bright diamond of the blue.
Or would that life would lose its artful camouflage,
and display the skeleton world before our eyes,
we would not be striving in vain to seek happiness,
which when we follow,lifts its wings and flies!
But as the lion longs for tasty flesh and blood,
and often is trapped in attempts to get the same,
saw we mortals following what we think is good,
meet our failure, not as we thought our fame.
Let’s forget this torturing world of ours,
and think of things more trustworthy and true;
for this spirit is naught but a veil of poisoned flowers,
which awaits its end, filled with a sinful crew.
Let’s soar into the soul of peaceful heaven,
which abounds with joy and is void of all sad pain,
down from which the wicked Lucifer was driven,
because on ambition he had not pulled the rein.
All that is so happy dream would last for ever,
dream of heaven, and that sky is so blue,
where since the Fall ambition was heard of never
to dull the happy spirit of that crew.
But we must get back to earth and to our sorrows,
back to ambition corrupted with our faults,
all that ambition could run its course undaunted,
unaffected by this world of empty vaults!