Life weighs heavy on me like the gravity of a dying star,
its hand burdensome upon my soul, crushing.
What relief is there from this constant pressing?
What escape from the excessive demand of my wit and my will?
I am weary beneath this yoke.
How brief is my respite from this striving,
and long are the days that exhaust my ambition.
How driven are the oxen as they plow
and relentless the sun that burns hot on their backs!
Yet the whip and teamster urge them onward
until their work is done.
Endless is the field that lays before me,
and fallow is the ground beneath my feet.
Rocky is the soil, and parched from drought,
for there is no rain to give this unyielding land chance for life.
Therefore, I will set out to rid myself of these stones
and empty my knapsack from its encumbering load
that I may give myself to this laborious task
though endless as it may appear.
I will work with my hands beneath the weight on my shoulders
and I will straighten my back against this my charge,
for why should I be bent with heaviness?
Instead I will bear up under it and endure this pressing.
Far be it for me to be broken and my resolve to weaken.
I will not be broken, nor will my knees buckle
beneath this cumbersome lade,
and I will not rest until the endeavor is done.
Life, you will not best me this day,
nor will your schemes discourage my countenance.
I will labor until my labor is complete
and this field is fertile and green.
I will dig with my hands the well if I must,
for this sparsity of water will not claim what could be,
and I will give drink to this earth
that the seeds I will sow may break forth and bud!
And oh, what a harvest I will bring into the barn!
This present lack and this present pressing
will not for me determine what my hands may hold
and what my eyes may see beyond the horizon.
I will rise up against these hardships
and I will overcome.
My resolve will not be shattered
by the threat of tribulation,
but I will stand, and I will set my face like flint
until I have broken through every barrier
and have surmounted the insurmountable --
all that lies before me that would dissuade me from living and thriving
and making my mark on this world.