by Eugene Field
I stood upon the peak, amid the air;
Below me lay the peopled, busy earth.
Life, life, and life again was everywhere,
And everywhere were melody and mirth,
Save on that peak, and silence brooded there.
I vaunted then myself, and half aloud
I gloried in the journey I had done:
Eschewing earth and earth's seductive crowd,
I'd scaled this steep, despite the rocks and sun;
Of such a feat might any man be proud!
But, as I boasted thus, my burro brayed;
I turned, and lo! a tear was in his eye,
And as I gazed, methought the burro said:
"Prithee, who brought you up this mountain high -
Was it your legs or mine the journey made?"
Then moralled I: The sturdiest peak is Fame's!
And there be many on its very height,
Who strut in pride and vaunt their empty claims,
While those poor human asses who delight
To place them there have unremembered names!
Last updated January 14, 2019