by Patience Strong (1907-1990)

The man looked at the mountain and the mountain at the man.
Scornfully it seemed to say, “Come, climb me if you can.”
The mountain was a giant with his shoulders in the sky,
The man a midget little more than sixty inches high.
But he had something more than height: a mind, a soul, a will,
A dream, a passionate desire, and so with patient skill
He moved with cautious steps upon the rocky, icy slope,
Climbing with a faith unbounded and a mighty hope.
With mist and storm and avalanche the mountain fought that day,
As over chasm, cliff, and gorge the climber made his way,
And reached the summit. Nature’s forces wild and fierce and blind
Were overcome and conquered by a midget with a mind.



by Jessie Brown Pounds (1861-1921)

He followed his dream, and men counted it madness;
He followed his dream up the mountain’s steep side.
“See! Here in the valley are music and gladness;
Why take the highway, the hard way?” they cried.

At length from above them we heard a faint calling.
His scorners turned quickly from feasting and play
To look to the mountain height, grim and appalling.
“The luck of a fool! –he has treasure!” said they.

With ropes and with staves, they toiled after and found him
Midway of the mountain, his treasures outspread.
“Let us share them!” they clamored, pressed rudely around him.
“Take all–it is yours; I go higher,” he said.

Jessie Brown Pounds