“Sonnet: ‘Some Fell by the Wayside'” by Elizabeth Oakes Smith

by Ann Neilson

Sonnet: “Some Fell by the Wayside”
Also known as “The Pilgrim”
Elizabeth Oakes Smith
From Graham’s Magazine, April, 1844, pg. 150

Not yet, not yet, oh pilgrim! cast aside
The dusty sandal, and the well-worn staff;
Athirst and fainting, yet must thou abide
One peril more—and strength in thy behalf
Shall once again be born—it is the last!
Thou sinkest by the lonely wayside down,
And life, o’erspent and weary, ebbeth past.
The lengthening shadows on thy path are thrown,
And thou wouldst rest, forgetful of life’s dream,
Deluding, vain, and empty, and here die.
Not yet! not yet! there still is left one gleam
To onward lure thy too despairing eye;
Gird on thy staff, the shrine is yet unworn;
Oh! lose not thou the prize, by this last work undone.