Living
 

If through the years we're not to do
    Much finer deeds than we have done;
If we must merely wander through
    Time's garden, idling in the sun;
If there is nothing big ahead,
Why do we fear to join the dead?

Unless to-morrow means that we
    Shall do some needed service here;
That tasks are waiting you and me
    That will be lost, save we appear;
Then why this dreadful thought of sorrow
That we may never see to-morrow?

If all our finest deeds are done,
    And all our splendor's in the past;
If there's no battle to be won,
    What matter if to-day's our last?
Is life so sweet that we would live
Though nothing back to life we give?

It is not greatness to have clung
    To life through eighty fruitless years;
The man who dies in action, young,
    Deserves our praises and our cheers,
Who ventures all for one great deed
And gives his life to serve life's need.