He Who Sees his Own Path

They speak the thing they have to say,
I hear them out and go my way,
              I know what I must do
To bring to fruit the thing I would -
Shall I affirm and not make good?
              Have I not spoken too?

I know they speak but as they must,
They cannot vitiate my trust
              In that which I have seen.
The thousand words they speak to me
Cannot efface the thing I see
              Or thrust themselves between.

All day it stays before my sight
And does not quit me in the night,
              But shines more clear and clings
To every image, whether I sleep,
Or whether with open eyes I keep
              My gaze on other things.

Though I shut my eyes, I cannot fly it,
I cannot banish or deny it,
               Or otherwise decree it.
I know tomorrow when I rise,
It will be still before my eyes -
               I saw it and I see it.

I see what I must do and do it,
I know my path and always knew it -
               A path too harsh and narrow
For any but one with a will like mine
That speeds in a single destined line -
               The swift-flying arrow.

One goal it sees to be its own,
One goal with certitude foreknown,
               Assured to it by fate.
One goal it sees and that alone,
The bow is bent, the shaft is flown -
              The arrow flies straight.

Ann Keith

If you have any comments on this poem, Ann Keith would be pleased to hear from you.