To Strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield

I’m getting ready for a trial and need to be brief, but I did want to share a quote from a poem that has always resonated me. While I do read a lot of non-fiction, I find that some of the greatest truths come from prose and poetry. One of the poems that always has inspired me is Tennyson’s Odysseus. In the quote, an ageing Odysseus (Ulysses in Greek mythology) after returning home, driving away Penelope’s suitors and leaving his son Telemachus to rule in his absence sets out on one last great adventure:

Old age hath yet his honour and his toil;

Death closes all: but something ere the end,

Some work of noble note, may yet be done,

Not unbecoming men that strove with Gods.

The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks:

The long day wanes: the slow moon climbs: the deep

Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends,

‘T is not too late to seek a newer world.

Push off, and sitting well in order smite

The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds

To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths

Of all the western stars, until I die.

It may be that the gulfs will wash us down:

It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,

And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.

Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and tho’

We are not now that strength which in old days

Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;

One equal temper of heroic hearts,

Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will

To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

Find your own poem or passage that inspires you and have a great weekend!

One response to “To Strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield”

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