The Bars of Fate ~ Ellen Gates

I stood before the bars of Fate
  And bowed my head disconsolate;
  So high they seemed, so fierce their frown.
  I thought no hand could break them down.

  Beyond them I could hear the songs
  Of valiant men who marched in throngs;
  And joyful women, fair and free,
  Looked back and waved their hands to me.

  I did not cry “Too late! too late!”
  Or strive to rise, or rail at Fate,
  Or pray to God. My coward heart,
  Contented, played its foolish part.

So still I sat, the tireless bee
  Sped o’er my head, with scorn for me,
  And birds who build their nests in air
  Beheld me, as I were not there.

  From twig to twig, before my face,
  The spiders wove their curious lace,
  As they a curtain fine would see
  Between the hindering bars and me.

  Then, sudden change! I heard the call
  Of wind and wave and waterfall;
  From heaven above and earth below
  A clear command—”ARISE AND GO!”

  I upward sprang in all my strength,
  And stretched my eager hands at length
  To break the bars—no bars were there;
  My fingers fell through empty air!

Ellen M.H. Gates

Author: Ray Calabrese

I am an optimistic, can do, and never quit guy. The spirit of hope indelibly marks my DNA. My research at The Ohio State University helped people discover the best in themselves and change their personal lives, public organizations, and whole communities. I bring the same spirit and enthusiasm to my blog to help those who grieve who find themselves suddenly alone, navigate their grieving. Join my more than 24,300Twitter (@alwaysgoodstuff). I promise my tweets are always good stuff. Please feel free to email me at

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