Tho’ Lack of Laurels and of Wreaths Not One

By Trumbull Stickney 1874–1904 Trumbull Stickney
Tho’ lack of laurels and of wreaths not one
Prove you our lives abortive, shall we yet
Vaunt us our single aim, our hearts full set
To win the guerdon which is never won.
Witness, a purpose never is undone.
And tho’ fate drain our seas of violet
To gather round our lives her wide-hung net,
Memories of hopes that are not shall atone.
Not wholly starless is the ill-starred life,
Not all is night in failure, and the shield
Sometimes well grasped, tho’ shattered in the strife.
And here while all the lowering heaven is ringed
With our loud death-shouts echoed, on the field
Stands forth our Nikè, proud, tho’ broken-winged.

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Poet Trumbull Stickney 1874–1904

Subjects Mythology & Folklore, Disappointment & Failure, Living

Poetic Terms Sonnet

 Trumbull  Stickney

Biography

Trumbull Stickney is best remembered as a promising young poet and scholar who died before his work could fully mature. As William Payne described his poems in a 1906 review for Dial: "Promise rather than fulfillment is the mark of this work as a whole, for it reveals Stickney as still groping for a distinctive manner rather than as having reached a definitive expression of his powers." A brilliant scholar and enthusiastic poet, . . .

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SUBJECT Mythology & Folklore, Disappointment & Failure, Living

Poetic Terms Sonnet

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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