To Those Who Fail
All honor to him who shall win the prize,”
The world has cried for a thousand years;
But to him who tries, and who fails and dies,
I give great honor and glory and tears;
Give glory and honor and pitiful tears
To all who fail in their deeds sublime;
Their ghosts are many in the van of years,
They were born with Time, in advance of Time.
Oh, great is the hero who wins a name,
But greater many and many a time
Some pale-faced fellow who dies in shame,
And lets God finish the thoughts sublime.
And great is the man with a sword undrawn,
And good is the man who refrains from wine;
But the man who fails and yet still fights on,
Lo, he is the twin-born brother of mine.
by Joaquin Miller