The mountains that enfold the vale
With walls of granite, steep and high,
Invite the fearless foot to scale
Their stairway toward the sky.
The restless, deep, dividing sea
That flows and foams from shore to shore,
Calls to its sunburned chivalry,
“Push out, set sail, explore!”
And all the bars at which we fret,
That seem to prison and control,
Are but the doors of daring, set
Ajar before the soul.
Say not, “Too poor,” but freely give;
Sigh not, “Too weak,” but boldly try,
You never can begin to live
Until you dare to die.
Henry Jackson van Dyke Jr. (November 10, 1852 – April 10, 1933) was an American author, educator, diplomat, and clergyman.