By Mrs [Susannah Frances] Reynolds in 1841 and transcribed by Jessica Elizabeth Thomas
Oft does th’ unconscious vessel fly
To distant coasts were billows high
In dread confusion roar;
And of the danger unaware,
Hoping to find a refuge there,
She splits upon the shore; –
So does ambition urge us on
Inviting power to gain!
And when our highest hopes are won,
We find our happiness undone
By that we would attain.
Ambition bids us stoop to crime,
And bears onto the latest time
Of frailty many a token:
The wisest often fall away,
And chiefs regret their peace decay,
When honour’s laws are broken.
Ambition is the nurse of woe,
And hastens to the grave,
Of life the evanescent glow,
And bids the crimson current flow
From them it cannot save!
Original citation: Mrs. Reynolds, “Ambition” The Teetotaler, 2 January 1841, Vol. 1. No. 28, p. 220