Opportunity by Edward Rowland Sill


I’m not a big poetry reader, but every once in a while I read one that resonates with me. Sometimes I find myself rereading it a few times or thinking about it for days afterward.

Opportunity by Edward Rowland Sill is one of those poems. When I read it I got chills running down my spine. So I thought I would share it with you.


By Edward Rowland Sill

This I beheld, or dreamed it in a dream:-
There spread a cloud of dust along a plain;
And underneath the cloud, or in it, raged
A furious battle, and men yelled, and swords
Shocked upon swords and shields. A prince’s banner
Wavered, then staggered backward, hemmed by foes.
A craven hung along the battle’s edge,
And thought, “Had I a sword of keener steel-
That blue blade that the king’s son bears,-but this
Blunt thing-!” he snapt and flung it from his hand,
And lowering crept away and left the field.
Then came the king’s son, wounded, sore, bested,
And weaponless, and saw the broken sword,
Hilt-buried in the dry and trodden sand,
And ran and snatched it, and with battle-shout
Lifted afresh he hewed his enemy down,
And saved a great cause that heroic day.


Don’t be that craven who makes excuses for not doing something. Don’t look at what someone else has and think if only you had X (looks, money, brains, women, etc.) my life would be better.

Take every opportunity, and win the day back.