by John James Ingalls

Master of human destinies am I; 
Fame, love and fortune on my footsteps wait. 
Cities and fields I walk. I penetrate 
Deserts and seas remote, and, passing by 
Hovel and mart and palace, soon or late, 
I knock unbidden once at every gate. 
If sleeping, wake; if feasting, rise, before 
I turn away. It is the hour of fate, 
And they who follow me reach every state 
Mortals desire, and conquer every foe 
Save death; but those who hesitate 
Condemned to failure, penury and woe, 
Seek me in vain, and uselessly implore. 
I answer not, and I return no more.