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The Selfish Aim

by Doris M. Kenyon

He sought it in life's fresh and dewy morn;
In misty woodlands where the shadows lay;
In summer fields amid the ripening corn;
In meadows sweet with hay.

Nor khamsin winds nor winter's vulpine tooth
Could daunt him, nor a thousand anxious fears,
For still he sought the fount of endless youth
Through long and bitter years.

Nor did he find it on the hoary hills,
Among whose splintered crags he toiled in vain,
Where the long thunder rolls and torn cloud spills
Its cold and barren rain.

He sought it by the ocean's tawny sands;
Amid forgotten cities, gray and old;
Love could not woo him with her beckoning hands,
Nor friendship, fame nor gold.

Then to the desert turned his weary feet.
The unattained still luring all his soul,
Till his strained eyes athwart the dazzling heat
Beheld at length his goal.

And there he digged, with heart grown old and seared,
Until he found the spring, when lo! he stood
Ringed round with mountains he himself had reared,
And perished in the solitude.

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