27 Uplifting Poems About Perseverance

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Here are my favorite poems about perseverance categorized:

  • Poems about perseverance by famous poets
  • Poems about overcoming challenges
  • Poems about determination and perseverance

So if you want the best poems about perseverance poems, then you’re in the right place.

Keep reading!

27 Best Poems About Perseverance (Categorized)

Uplifting Poems About Perseverance

Discover the power and resilience of the human spirit through the best poems about perseverance, all conveniently located in one place.

From works by famous poets that capture the strength and determination of the human will to lesser-known gems that inspire us to keep pushing forward in the face of adversity, you’ll find them all here.

Whether you’re looking for motivation on your own journey of perseverance or simply seeking inspiration, the best poems about perseverance are sure to leave you uplifted and inspired.

Let’s jump right into it!

My #1 Favorite Poem About Perseverance

“Invictus” by William Ernest Henley

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud;
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

Poems About Perseverance by Famous Poets

“Patience” by Emma Lazarus

The passion of despair is quelled at last;
The cruel sense of undeserved wrong,
The wild self-pity, these are also past;
She knows not what may come, but she is strong;
She feels she hath not aught to lose nor gain,
Her patience is the essence of all pain.

As one who sits beside a lapsing stream,
She sees the flow of changeless day by day,
Too sick and tired to think, too sad to dream,
Nor cares how soon the waters slip away,
Nor where they lead; at the wise God’s decree,
She will depart or bide indifferently.

There is deeper pathos in the mild
And settled sorrow of the quiet eyes,
Than in the tumults of the anguish wild,
That made her curse all things beneath the skies;
No question, no reproaches, no complaint,
Hers is the holy calm of some meek saint.

“Never Despair” by William Smith O’Brien

Never despair! Let the feeble in spirit
Bow like the willow that stoops to the blast.
Droop not in peril! ’T is manhood’s true merit
Nobly to struggle and hope to the last.
When by the sunshine of fortune forsaken
Faint sinks the heart of the feeble with fear,
Stand like the oak of the forest—unshaken,
Never despair—Boys—oh! never despair.

Never despair! Though adversity rages,
Fiercely and fell as the surge on the shore,
Firm as the rock of the ocean for ages,
Stem the rude torrent till danger is o’er.
Fate with its whirlwind our joys may all sever,
True to ourselves, we have nothing to fear.
Be this our hope and our anchor for ever—
Never despair—Boys—oh! never despair.

“A Picture” by Olivia Ward Bush-Banks

I drew a picture long ago—
A picture of a sullen sea;
A picture that I value now
Because it clears Life’s mystery.

My sea was dark and full of gloom;
I painted rocks of sombre hue.
My sky alone bespoke of light,
And that I painted palest blue.

But e’en across my sky of blue
Stretched troubled clouds of sodden gray,
Through which the sun shone weak and dim,
With only here and there a ray.

Around my rocks the yellow foam
Seemed surging, moaning in despair
As if the waves, their fury spent,
Left naught but desolation there.

Three crafts with fluttering sails I drew,
And one sailed near the rocks of gray,
The other on its westward course,
Went speeding out of danger’s way.

The other still outdistanced them
Where sky and water seemed to met.
I painted that with sails full set,
And then my picture was complete.

My life was like the sullen sea,
Misfortunes, woes, my rocks of gray,
The crafts portrayed Life’s changing scenes,
The clouded sky Life’s troubled Day.

I longed to paint that picture o’er
Without the rocks of sombre hue;
Without the troubled clouds of gray,
I’ll paint the sky of brightest blue.

My sea shall lay in calm repose,
No hint of surging, moaning sigh.
My crafts, unhindered by the rocks,
Shall speed in joyous swiftness by.

But this shall be when brightest hours
Of hope and cheer are given me.
I’ll paint this picture when Life’s sun
Shines clear upon Prosperity

“I Am But a Small-Winged Bird” by Sidney Lanier

I am but a small-winged bird:
But I will conquer the big world
As the bee-martin beats the crow,
By attacking it always from Above.

“Waiting” by John Burroughs

Serene, I fold my hands and wait,
Nor care for wind, or tide, or sea;
I rave no more ’gainst time or fate,
For, lo! my own shall come to me.

I stay my haste, I make delays,
For what avails this eager pace?
I stand amid the eternal ways,
And what is mine shall know my face.

Asleep, awake, by night or day,
The friends I seek are seeking me;
No wind can drive my bark astray,
Nor change the tide of destiny.

What matter if I stand alone?
I wait with joy the coming years;
My heart shall reap where it has sown,
And garner up its fruit of tears.

The waters know their own and draw
The brook that springs in yonder height;
So flows the good with equal law
Unto the soul of pure delight.

The stars come nightly to the sky;
The tidal wave unto the sea;
Nor time, nor space, nor deep, nor high,
Can keep my own away from me.

“Times Go By Turns” by Robert Southwell

The lopped tree in time may grow again;
Most naked plants renew both fruit and flower;
The sorest wight may find release of pain,
The driest soil suck in some moist’ning shower;
Times go by turns and chances change by course,
From foul to fair, from better hap to worse.

The sea of Fortune doth not ever flow,
She draws her favors to the lowest ebb;
Her time hath equal times to come and go,
Her loom doth weave the fine and coarsest web;
No joy so great but runneth to an end,
No hap so hard but may in fine amend.

Not always fall of leaf nor ever spring,
No endless night yet not eternal day;
The saddest birds a season find to sing,
The roughest storm a calm may soon allay;
Thus with succeeding turns God tempereth all,
That man may hope to rise yet fear to fall.

A chance may win that by mischance was lost;
The well that holds no great, takes little fish;
In some things all, in all things none are crossed,
Few all they need, but none have all they wish;
Unmeddled joys here to no man befall,
Who least hath some, who most hath never all.

“The Rainy Day” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The day is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains, and the wind is never weary;
The vine still clings to the moldering wall,
But at every gust the dead leaves fall,
And the day is dark and dreary.

My life is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains, and the wind is never weary;
My thoughts still cling to the moldering Past,
But the hopes of youth fall thick in the blast,
And the days are dark and dreary.

Be still, sad heart! and cease repining;
Behind the clouds is the sun still shining;
Thy fate is the common fate of all,
Into each life some rain must fall,
Some days must be dark and dreary.

“Compensation” by Christopher Pearse Cranch

Tears wash away the atoms in the eye
That smarted for a day;
Rain-clouds that spoiled the splendors of the sky
The fields with flowers array.

No chamber of pain but has some hidden door
That promises release;
No solitude so drear but yields its store
Of thought and inward peace.

No night so wild but brings the constant sun
With love and power untold;
No time so dark but through its woof there run
Some blessèd threads of gold.

And through the long and storm-tost centuries burn
In changing calm and strife
The Pharos-lights of truth, where’er we turn,—
The unquenched lamps of life.

O Love supreme! O Providence divine!
What self-adjusting springs
Of law and life, what even scales, are thine,
What sure-returning wings

Of hopes and joys, that flit like birds away,
When chilling autumn blows,
But come again, long ere the buds of May
Their rosy lips unclose!

What wondrous play of mood and accident
Through shifting days and years;
What fresh returns of vigor overspent
In feverish dreams and fears!

What wholesome air of conscience and of thought
When doubts and forms oppress;
What vistas opening to the gates we sought
Beyond the wilderness;

Beyond the narrow cells, where self-involved,
Like chrysalids, we wait
The unknown births, the mysteries unsolved
Of death and change and fate!

O Light divine! we need no fuller test
That all is ordered well;
We know enough to trust that all is best
Where love and wisdom dwell.

“Something Beyond” by Mary (Clemmer) (Ames) Hudson

Something beyond! though now, with joy unfound,
The life-task falleth from thy weary hand,
Be brave, be patient! In the fair beyond
Thou ’lt understand.

Thou ’lt understand why our most royal hours
Couch sorrowful slaves bound by low nature’s greed;
Why the celestial soul ’s a minion made
To narrowest need.

In this pent sphere of being incomplete,
The imperfect fragment of a beauteous whole,
For yon rare regions, where the perfect meet,
Sighs the lone soul.

Sighs for the perfect! Far and fair it lies;
It hath no half-fed friendships perishing fleet,
No partial insights, no averted eyes,
No loves unmeet.

Something beyond! Light for our clouded eyes!
In this dark dwelling, in its shrouded beams,
Our best waits masked, few pierce the soul’s disguise;
How sad it seems!

Something beyond! Ah, if it were not so,
Darker would be thy face, O brief To-day;
Earthward we ’d bow beneath life’s smiting woe,
Powerless to pray.

Something beyond! The immortal morning stands
Above the night; clear shines her precious brow;
The pendulous star in her transfigured hands
Brightens the Now.

Poems About Overcoming Challenges

“Keep Going” by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Is the goal distant, and troubled the road,
And the way long?
And heavy your load?
Then gird up your courage, and say ‘I am strong,’
And keep going.

Is the work weary, and endless the grind
And petty the pay?
Then brace up your mind
And say ‘Something better is coming my way,’
And keep doing.

Is the drink bitter life pours in your cup –
Is the taste gall?
Then smile and look up
And say ‘God is with me whatever befall,’
And keep trusting.

Is the heart heavy with hope long deferred,
And with prayers that seem vain?
Keep saying the word –
And that which you strive for you yet shall attain.
Keep praying.

“Keep Tryin'” by Edwin C. Ranck

When you’re feelin’ blue as ink
An’ your spirits ‘gin to sink,
Don’t be weak an’ take a drink
Keep Tryin’.

There are times when all of us
Get riled up and start a muss,
But there ain’t no use to cuss,
Keep Tryin’.

When things seem to go awry,
And the sun deserts your sky,
Don’t sit down somewhere and cry,
Keep Tryin’.

Everybody honors grit,
Men who never whine a bit–
Men who tell the world, “I’m IT”
Keep Tryin’.

Get a hustle on you NOW,
Make a great, big solemn vow
That you’ll win out anyhow,
Keep Tryin’.

All the world’s a battlefield
Where the true man is revealed,
But the ones who never yield
Keep Tryin’.

“Earnestness” by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

The hurry of the times affects us so
In this swift rushing hour, we crowd and press,
And thrust each other backward, as we go,
And do not pause to lay sufficient stress
Upon that good, strong, true word, Earnestness.
In our impetuous haste, could we but know
Its full, deep meaning, its vast import, oh,
Then might we grasp the secret of success!
In that receding age when men were great,
The bone, and sinew of their purpose lay
In this one word. God likes an earnest soul—
Too earnest to be eager. Soon or late
It leaves the spent horde breathless by the way,
And stands serene, triumphant, at the goal.

“Perseverance” by Robert Herrick

Hast thou begun an act? ne’er then give o’er:
No man despairs to do what’s done before.

“Keep A-Pluggin’ Away” by Paul Laurence Dunbar

I’ve a humble little motto
That is homely, though it’s true, —
Keep a-pluggin’ away.
It’s a thing when I’ve an object
That I always try to do, —
Keep a-pluggin’ away.
When you’ve rising storms to quell,
When opposing waters swell,
It will never fail to tell, —
Keep a-pluggin’ away.
If the hills are high before
And the paths are hard to climb,
Keep a-pluggin’ away.
And remember that successes
Come to him who bides his time, —
Keep a-pluggin’ away.
From the greatest to the least,
None are from the rule released.
Be thou toiler, poet, priest,
Keep a-pluggin’ away.
Delve away beneath the surface,
There is treasure farther down, —
Keep a-pluggin’ away.
Let the rain come down in torrents,
Let the threat’ning heavens frown,
Keep a-pluggin’ away.
When the clouds have rolled away,
There will come a brighter day
All your labor to repay, —
Keep a-pluggin’ away.
There ‘ll be lots of sneers to swallow.
There ‘ll be lots of pain to bear, —
Keep a-pluggin’ away.
If you’ve got your eye on heaven,
Some bright day you’ll wake up there,
Keep a-pluggin’ away.
Perseverance still is king;
Time its sure reward will bring;
Work and wait unwearying,—
Keep a-pluggin’ away.

“Persistence” by Walter Savage Landor

My hopes retire; my wishes as before
Struggle to find their resting-place in vain:
The ebbing sea thus beats against the shore;
The shore repels it; it returns again.

“I Will Be Worthy of It” by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

I may not reach the heights I seek,
My untried strength may fail me;
Or, half-way up the mountain peak,
Fierce tempests may assail me.
But though that place I never gain,
Herein lies comfort for my pain—
I will be worthy of it.
I may not triumph in success,
Despite my earnest labor;
I may not grasp results that bless
The efforts of my neighbor;
But though my goal I never see
This thought shall always dwell with me—
I will be worthy of it.
The golden glory of Love’s light
May never fall on my way;
My path may always lead through night,
Like some deserted by-way;
But though life’s dearest joy I miss
There lies a nameless strength in this—
I will be worthy of it.

“Poem” by Langston Hughes

Being walkers with the dawn and morning
Walkers with the sun and morning,
We are not afraid of night,
Nor days of gloom,
Nor darkness,
Being walkers with the sun and morning.

“Keep a Song Up on De Way” by Paul Laurence Dunbar

Oh, de clouds is mighty heavy
An’ de rain is mighty thick;
Keep a song up on de way.
An’ de waters is a rumblin’
On de boulders in de crick,
Keep a song up on de way.
Fu’ a bird ercross de road
Is a–singin’ lak he knowed
Dat we people did n’t daih
Fu’ to try de rainy aih
Wid a song up on de way.

What’s de use o’ gittin’ mopy,
Case de weather ain’ de bes’!
Keep a song up on de way.
W’en de rain is fallin’ ha’des’,
Dey ’s de longes’ times to res’
Keep a song up on de way.
Dough de plough ’s a–stan’in’ still
Dey ‘ll be watah fu’ de mill,
Rain mus’ come ez well ez sun
‘Fo’ de weathah’s wo’k is done,
Keep a song up on de way.

W’y hit’s nice to hyeah de showahs
Fallin’ down ermong de trees:
Keep a song up on de way.
Ef de birds don’ bothah ‘bout it,
But go singin’ lak dey please,
Keep a song up on de way.
You don’ s’pose I’s gwine to see
Dem ah fowls do mo’ dan me?
No, suh, I ‘ll des chase dis frown,
An’ aldough de rain fall down,
Keep a song up on de way.

woman in the field at sunrise

“Keep a-Goin” by Frank L. Stanton

If you strike a thorn or rose,
Keep a-goin’!
If it hails, or if it snows,
Keep a-goin!
‘Taint no use to sit an’ whine,
When the fish ain’t on yer line;
Bait yer hook an’ keep a-tryin’—
Keep a-goin’!
When the weather kills yer crop,
Keep a-goin’!
When you tumble from the top,
Keep a-goin’!
S’pose you’re out of every dime,
Bein’ so ain’t any crime;
Tell the world you’re feelin’ prime—
Keep a-goin’!
When it looks like all is up,
Keep a-goin’!
Drain the sweetness from the cup,
Keep a-goin’!
See the wild birds on the wing,
Hear the bells that sweetly ring,
When you feel like sighin’ sing—
Keep a-goin’!

Poems About Determination and Perseverance

“Resolve” by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Build on resolve, and not upon regret,
The structure of thy future. Do not grope
Among the shadows of old sins, but let
Thine own soul’s light shine on the path of hope
And dissipate the darkness. Waste no tears
Upon the blotted record of lost years,
But turn the leaf, and smile, oh, smile, to see
The fair white pages that remain for thee.
Prate not of thy repentance. But believe
The spark divine dwells in thee: let it grow.
That which the upreaching spirit can achieve
The grand and all-creative forces know;
They will assist and strengthen as the light
Lifts up the acorn to the oak tree’s height.
Thou hast but to resolve, and lo! God’s whole
Great universe shall fortify thy soul.

“Don’t Worry” by William Arthur Dunkerley (John Oxenham)

Just do your best,
And leave the rest
To Him who gave you
And Zeal for Labour,–
And the Joy of Strife,–
And Zest of Love,–
And all that lifts your soul above
The lower things.

Life’s truest harvest is in what we would,
And strive our best for,
Not most in what we could.
The things we count supreme
Stand, haply, not so high
In God’s esteem
As How and Why.

All-Seeing Sight
Cleaves through the husk of things,
Right to the Roots and Springs,–
Sees all things whole,
And measures less the body than the soul.
All-Righteous Right
Will weigh men’s motives,
Not their deeds alone.
End and Beginning unto Him are one;
And would for could shall oft, perchance, atone.

Motives are seeds,
From which at times spring deeds
Not equal to the soul’s outreaching hope.
Strive for the stars!
Count nought well done but best!
Then, with brave patience, leave the rest
To Him who knows.
He’ll judge you justly ere the record close.

“The Gift Of Perseverance” by John Henry Newman

Once, as I brooded o’er my guilty state,
A fever seized me, duties to devise,
To buy me interest in my Saviour’s eyes;
Not that His love I would extenuate,
But scourge and penance, masterful self-hate,
Or gift of cost, served by an artifice
To quell my restless thoughts and envious sighs
And doubts, which fain heaven’s peace would antedate.
Thus as I tossed, He said:-‘E’en holiest deeds
Shroud not the soul from God, nor soothe its needs;
Deny thee thine own fears, and wait the end!’
Stern lesson! Let me con it day by day,
And learn to kneel before the Omniscient Ray,
Nor shrink, when Truth’s avenging shafts descend!

“Dreams” by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Thank God for dreams! I, desolate and lone,
In the dark curtained night, did seem to be
The centre where all golden sun-rays shone,
And, sitting there, held converse sweet with thee.
No shadow lurked between us; all was bright
And beautiful as in the hours gone by,
I smiled, and was rewarded by the light
Of olden days soft beaming from thine eye.
Thank God, thank God for dreams!

I thought the birds all listened; for thy voice
Pulsed through the air, like beat of silver wings.
It made each chamber of my soul rejoice
And thrilled along my heart’s tear-rusted strings.
As some devout and ever-prayerful nun
Tells her bright beads, and counts them o’er and o’er,
Thy golden words I gathered, one by one,
And slipped them into memory’s precious store.
Thank God, thank God for dreams!

My lips met thine in one ecstatic kiss.
Hand pressed in hand, and heart to heart we sat.
Why even now I am surcharged with bliss –
With joy supreme, if I but think of that.
No fear of separation or of change
Crept in to mar our sweet serene content.
In that blest vision, nothing could estrange
Our wedded souls, in perfect union blent.
Thank God, thank God for dreams!

Thank God for dreams! when nothing else is left.
When the sick soul, all tortured with its pain,
Knowing itself forever more bereft,
Finds waiting hopeless and all watching vain,
When empty arms grow rigid with their ache,
When eyes are blinded with sad tides of tears,
When stricken hearts do suffer, yet not break,
For loss of those who come not with the years –
Thank God, thank God for dreams!

“Will” by Alfred Lord Tennyson

O well for him whose will is strong!
He suffers, but he will not suffer long;
He suffers, but he cannot suffer wrong:
For him nor moves the loud world’s random mock,
Nor all Calamity’s hugest waves confound,
Who seems a promontory of rock,
That, compass’d round with turbulent sound,
In middle ocean meets the surging shock,
Tempest-buffeted, citadel-crown’d.

But ill for him who, bettering not with time,
Corrupts the strength of heaven-descended Will,
And ever weaker grows thro’ acted crime,
Or seeming-genial venial fault,
Recurring and suggesting still!
He seems as one whose footsteps halt,
Toiling in immeasurable sand,
And o’er a weary sultry land,
Far beneath a blazing vault,
Sown in a wrinkle of the monstrous hill,
The city sparkles like a grain of salt.

“Hope is the Thing With Feathers” by Emily Dickinson

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I’ve heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

a young woman in a pink dress walks across the field at sunrise

“A Distant Song” by John Gould Fletcher

Whether awake or sleeping,
I cannot rest for long:
By my casement comes creeping
A distant song.

A song like the chiming of silver
Bells which the breezes play,
Seeming to float for ever
Towards an unseen day:

A song that is weary with sorrow,
Yet knows not any defeat:
Through the past, through to-day, through to-morrow,
It echoes on life’s long street.

Could I but make words of its power,
Bring it from the future here,
Men’s souls would be waking, that hour,
To the victory against fear.

But the vague sweet stanza befools me
With its calm joy, time after time,
And no failure here ever schools me
To cease from an idle rhyme.

That music afar, unspoken,
’Tis I have done it wrong:
I caught, and I have broken,
A distant song.