"The God of High Endeavor gave me a Torch to bear,
I lifted it high above me in the dark and murky air;
And straightway, with loud hosannas, the crowd proclaimed its light
Till drunk with the people's praises and mad with vanity
I forgot 'twas the Torch they followed,
And fancied they followed me.
Then slowly my arm grew weary upholding the shining load,
And my tired feet went stumbling over the dusty road.
And I fell with the Torch beneath me. In a moment the light was out,
When lo, from the throng a stripling (a grown boy) sprang forth with a mighty shout
Caught up the Torch as it smoldered, and lifted it high again,
Till, fanned by the winds of heaven, it fired the souls of men.
And I lay in the darkness, the feet of the trampling crowd
Passed over and far beyond me, its paeans (song of joy, triumph) proclaiming aloud,
And I learned in the deepening twilight, the glorious verity, (truth, reality)
'Tis the Torch that the people follow,
Whoever the bearer be."