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.