Mortals never learn from stories
How catastropher becomes;
How above the victor’s glories
In the trumpets and the drums
And the cry of millions “Master!”
Looms the shadow of disaster.
Every hour a man hath said:
“That at least is scotched and dead.”
Some one circumstance; “At last
That, and it effects, are past.”
Some one terror—subtle foe!
“I have laid that spectre low.”
They know not, learn not, cannot calculate
How subtly Fate
Weaves its fine mesh, perceiving how to wait;
Or how accumulate
The trifles that shall make it master yet
Of the strong soul that bade itself forget.