At Forty Years

by Friedrich Ruckert

Friedrich Rückert

When for forty years we've climbed the rugged mountain,
We stop and backward gaze;
Yonder still we see our childhood's peaceful fountain,
And youth exulting strays.
One more glance behind, and then, new strength acquiring,
Staff grasped, no longer stay;
See, a further slope, a long one, still aspiring
Ere downward turns the way!
Take a brave long breath and toward the summit hie thee--
The goal shall draw thee on;
When thou think'st it least, the destined end is nigh thee--
Sudden, the journey's done!

Last updated May 31, 2017