Ella Wheeler Wilcox
"It Might Have Been"
We will be what we could be. Do not say,
"It might have been, had not this, or that, or this."
No fate can keep us from the chosen way;
He only might who is.
We will do what we could do. Do not dream
Chance leaves a hero, all uncrowned to grieve.
I hold, all men are greatly what they seem;
He does, who could achieve.
We will climb where we could climb. Tell me not
Of adverse storms that kept thee from the height.
What eagle ever missed the peak he sought?
He always climbs who might.
I do not like the phrase "It might have been!"
It lacks force, and life's best truths perverts:
For I believe we have, and reach, and win,
Whatever our deserts.
Ella Wheeler Wilcox's Other Poems
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(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
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(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(27 October 1914 – 9 November 1953)
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)