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Millions have gazed upon thy towering height,
O envied Fame!
And millions fain would on thy record write
A fadeless name.


But oh, how many of this mighty throng
While years have flown,
Have lived and died and left life's changing song,
To fame unknown!


Ah! many a fair ambition-gilded gem,
So dearly prized,
Has faded from Hope's golden diadem


And are they lost--gone never to return
Dead songs of vanished years--
And nothing left but lessons hard to learn,
Through bitter, blinding tears?


Yes; many who might stand at Honor's side
With laurels crowned,
But struggle to fulfil through Time's slow tide,
Life's common round.


And some, who might have found Fame's golden throne
A well-earned destiny,
Leave not behind a monumental stone
To tell their history;


Too good to leave for other hands to do
Their common daily task,
Faithful to duty, to their Maker true;
No higher lot they ask.


Forgotten? Oh, those many unmarked graves,
Strewn over land and sea!
Naught but the desert winds and ocean waves
Rehearse their memory.


But oh! in immortality arrayed
In Heaven they dwell,
Though years have vanished, since to earth they bade
A long farewell.


But not alone the poor and humble rest
Where willows wave,
The highest paths of power and fame, at last
Lead to the grave.


Ah! hear the dirge that all mankind must learn:
Place not on earth thy trust,
For dust thou art, to dust shalt thou return,
Dust unto dust.


A queen lay on her death-bed, 'round her shone
Beauty and luxury;
But what to her was now her princely throne
And mighty monarchy?


Lost to the world would soon her presence be,
And ghosts of vanished years,
Thronged 'round her bed, laughed at her misery
And mocked her tears.


But memory saw another being there,
Her crown of gold,
The jewels sparkling on her waving hair
Roused fears untold.


Again she saw the warrant she had signed
To seal another's fate,
And sought for peace and mercy but to find
Her search too late,


And uttered; knowing that 'twould soon be o'er,
The last words she could say
Before the proud tongue paused to speak no more,
"A kingdom for a day!"


A kingdom--all its wealth and princely dowers
To gladly give,
Just for a few more, wear, lingering hours
In which to live.


In which to make her peace with Heaven secure
Before her tongue was dumb,
In which to make her blackened record pure
Ere death should come.


How short is human Fame, how very soon
Is passed Life's little day,
Her wealth and beauty journey to the tomb;
Her glories fade away.


How small is Fame--beyond her golden sands,
Beyond the clouds, we see
The shining bow of promise, spans
Time and eternity.