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It Might Have Been

Ella Wheeler Wilcox 1855 (Janesville) – 1919

We will be what we could be. Do not say,
'It might have been, had not this, or that, or this.'
No fate can keep us from the chosen way;
He only might who is.

We will do what we could do. Do not dream
Chance leaves a hero, all uncrowned to grieve.
I hold, all men are greatly what they seem;
He does, who could achieve.

We will climb where we could climb. Tell me not
Of adverse storms that kept thee from the height.
What eagle ever missed the peak he sought?
He always climbs who might.

I do not like the phrase 'It might have been!'
It lacks force, and life's best truths perverts:
For I believe we have, and reach, and win,
Whatever our deserts.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Ella Wheeler Wilcox was an American author and poet. more…

All Ella Wheeler Wilcox poems | Ella Wheeler Wilcox Books

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    "It Might Have Been" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 17 Jun 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/10672/it-might-have-been>.

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