AROUND and beneath, the dull grey mist and the sullen roar of the sea,
Scant footing-place on the sheer cliffs face—with death for a penalty;
But afar and above there is rest and love, there is hope for brain and hand,
The valleys fair and the crystal air and the peaks of Morning Land.
Around and beneath are the mists of toil and the sullen roar of the world,
And the sneer of scorn for a foothold gone and a climber backward hurled;
But afar and above are the hopes of men with the heart and will to stand
On the thin rift’s edge and the slippery ledge that lead to Morning Land.
They slip and fall from the sheer cliffs face; ah, God! they are falling still!
But another leaps for the vacant place, and another his place will fill.
’Tis little they fear the coward’s sneer, or the scorn of a selfish band,
Whose eyes are set on the parapet and the heights of Morning Land.
Hark to the ring as their rock picks swing, and bite for a foothold there!
Grip by grip they are straining up that others may travel fair.
The world will follow them all some day, the men it has shunned and banned,
The gallant hearts that hewed the way that leads to Morning Land.