I Could Not But Climb.

It stood so glorious
there before me
towering, towering o’er my head

I could not help but
stumble toward it
newly risen from death’s dark bed

The shrouds of death
so quick discarded
tangled, swiftly made me fall

But even then at the beginning
I knew the heights
deserved my all

And now so many years have passed
so many footsteps
on the trail

And still it’s up there
further, farther
mostly hidden ‘neath the vale

It calls to somewhere deep inside me
pulsing with each step
I take

And moving ever onward upward
reminds this journey
I must make

I’ve fallen hard and
bones I’ve broken
days and months and years I’ve lost

But never would I
now begrudge it
counting up this long walks’ cost

For everywhere I look there’s glory
every view on
which I gaze

And still the greatest view before me
somewhere higher
in the haze

This pack I shoulder each day lighter
though trinkets still
do catch my eye

I wish I could avoid the tumbles
those nights I sit right down
and cry

For everywhere I look there’s sorrow
in every curve
a broken form

At every sight of battered body
I shudder that this
be the norm

Why must it be so many stumble
countless others
lose their way

How can it be that so few find it
sightless wandering
far below stay

All these and many other questions
start in on me
each break of day

Why do I count among the fortunate
to travel on this
narrow way

There is beauty in the questions
as I give each day
my best

There is beauty in the journey
and beauty
in the rest

There is joy in the ascending
with each day’s
elevation gain

Thought at times effort expended
has me grumbling through
the pain

The mountain before me shines and shimmers
for the end my heart
it pines

And I find my soul expanding
coloring outside all
those old lines

So I’ll shoulder my pack
stretch weary muscles
and start up again on this journey of mine

Because the views are so very splendid
and the rewards
so truly divine

I hope to see you somewhere on this path
and walk a little
together

We can huddle up
and share our warmth
and pass the nasty weather

For I could not recommend this way
with greater warmth
tho humble the rhyme

As I make my way up to the top
of this mountain
I could not but climb

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