That Highest Creed

My tastes have turned from the Romantics to the Elizabethans lately, so I wrote this:

<b>That Highest Creed</b>

When baseless doubts encroach on your ambition,
Insulting you with stammering mistrust,
And subtle angst displaces strong volition,
And frail misgivings dampen native lust;
When old regrets clutch tight upon your heart,
And fears long-vanquished slink upon your nerve,
So bold intent takes flight at every start,
And steep ambition yields to shy reserve;
When pity’s palsy loosens your clenched fist,
And like a slave prostrate upon the rack,
Abjectly pleading that his banes desist
Even as they ravage him, your limbs go slack:
Take courage from that highest creed of life,
That he is saved who lives by constant strife.