Hold On A While

By Amos Russel Wells

When all the sky is very black
And all the earth is blue,
And all the fiends are on your track
And howling after you;
When courage falls and hope decays
And fair ambition dies,
And all your dreamland is ablaze
Beneath the ebon skies;
When you would fain renounce the goal,
Nor plod another mile,
Oh, straighten up your drooping soul,
And—just—hold on—a while!
Hold on a while! the darkest night
May bring the fairest day.
Hold on a while! the good, the right,
Will always find a way.
Hold on! for is Jehovah dead?
His love an empty song?
Hold on! have heaven’s armies fled
Before the hosts of wrong?
Hold on! for still some strength remains,
Nor yield you till you must;
A newer life may flood your veins;
Born of a larger trust.
A newer life—hold on for that!
A lily from the mud!
The greening peak of Ararat
Emerging from the flood!
The clouds are shattered by the sun;
The earth is all aglow;
Away the howling devils run,
And back to hell they go!
Hold on for that! Do what you can,
Nor prove a craven elf;
For heaven never helped a man
Until he helped himself.
And when your fondest hopes are dead
And fate has ceased to smile.
‘Tis then it pays to lift your head
And—just—hold on a-while.

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