Last Songs from Vagabondia

by Bliss Carman and Richard Hovey


 

AT THE CROSSROADS


 

YOU to the left and I to the right,
For the ways of men must sever—
And it well may be for a day and a night,
And it well may be forever.
But whether we meet or whether we part
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(For our ways are past our knowing),
A pledge from the heart to its fellow heart
On the ways we all are going!
Here’s luck!
For we know not where we are going.
10

We have striven fair in love and war,
But the wheel was always weighted;
We have lost the prize that we struggled for,
We have won the prize that was fated.
We have met our loss with a smile and a song,
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And our gains with a wink and a whistle,—
For, whether we’re right or whether we’re wrong.
There’s a rose for every thistle.
Here’s luck—
And a drop to wet your whistle!
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Whether we win or whether we lose
With the hands that life is dealing,
It is not we nor the ways we choose
But the fall of the cards that’s sealing.
There’s a fate in love and a fate in fight,
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And the best of us all go under—
And whether we’re wrong or whether we’re right,
We win, sometimes, to our wonder.
Here’s luck—
That we may not yet go under!
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With a steady swing and an open brow
We have tramped the ways together,
But we’re clasping hands at the crossroads now
In the Fiend’s own night for weather;
And whether we bleed or whether we smile
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In the leagues that lie before us,
The ways of life are many a mile
And the dark of Fate is o’er us.
Here’s luck!
And a cheer for the dark before us!
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You to the left and I to the right,
For the ways of men must sever,
And it well may be for a day and a night,
And it well may be forever!
But whether we live or whether we die
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(For the end is past our knowing),
Here’s two frank hearts and the open sky,
Be a fair or an ill wind blowing!
Here’s luck!
In the teeth of all winds blowing.
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