William Gay

(1812 - 1897 / England)

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Vestigia Nulla Retrorsum

O steep and rugged Life, whose harsh ascent
Slopes blindly upward through the bitter night!
They say that on thy summit, high in light,
Sweet rest awaits the climber, travel-spent;
But I, alas, with dusty garments rent,
With fainting heart and failing limbs and sight,
Can see no glimmer of the shining height,
And vainly list, with body forward bent,
To catch athwart the gloom one wandering note

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