Edgar A. Guest
Iwould live this life so well
Strangers of me praise might tell.
Somehow I would like to be
Cherished here in memory,
Not as one whose skill was great;
Not as one who conquered fate;
Not as one who rose to fame,
Leaving a remembered name,
But as one who served some need
With a timely, kindly deed.
Iwould have my life be told
Not in glory or in gold,
Or in books which students read,
Giving name and date and deed
Of a dead man labeled great.
Let mine be the lesser fate.
Let me be to print unknown;
O’er my grave no towering stone.
‘Tis sufficient at the end
To be mourned for as a friend.
Say of me I loved this earth,
Suffered sorrow, relished mirth;
Bravely tried to live and found
Friendships half the world around;
Say I did my best to share
Burdens others had to bear;
Seldom stayed to count the cost
Lest the chance to help be lost.
If of me this can be said,
Sweet my sleep when I am dead.
Collected Verse of Edgar A. Guest
(Cutchogue, NY: Buccaneer Books, 1976), 549