If all the end of this continuous striving
Were simply to attain,
How poor would seem the planning and contriving
The endless urging and the hurried driving
Of body, heart and brain!

But ever in the wake of true achieving,
There shine this glowing trail —
Some other soul will be spurred on, conceiving,
New strength and hope, in its own power believing,
Because thou didst not fail.

Not thine alone the glory, nor the sorrow,
If thou doth miss the goal,
Undreamed of lives in many a far to-morrow
From thee their weakness or their force shall borrow —
On, on, ambitious soul.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Ella Wheeler Wilcox's poem Ambition’s Trail

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