Good Luck and Bad
GOOD Luck is like a down hill tide
That helps to make an easy start,
Where one may paddle, drift or glide
Without much effort on his part;
But though it takes you to the goal
And brings you in the world's acclaim,
It builds no fibre for your soul
Nor molds you for the rougher game.
Bad Luck is like an uphill sweep,
The test of courage and of class,
Where troubles grow and shadows creep
And none except the valiant pass ;
Where through raw gales that blow but ill
The entry clings to this lone dream :
The stalwart only stalks the hill
The gamefish only swims up stream.
If your main wish is but to win
Let Good Luck help to pull you through,
To know the cheering and the din
That go where laurel sprigs are due ;
But if you wish to build a heart
That scorns the fickle whims of Fate,
Take Hard Luck for the journey's start
With rugged Trouble for a mate.
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.
It is easy enough to be pleasant,
When life flows by like a song,
But the man worth while is one who will smile,
When everything goes dead wrong.
For the test of the heart is trouble,
And it always comes with the years,
And the smile that is worth the praises of earth,
Is the smile that shines through tears.
It is easy enough to be prudent,
When nothing tempts you to stray,
When without or within no voice of sin
Is luring your soul away;
But it’s only a negative virtue
Until it is tried by fire,
And the life that is worth the honor on earth,
Is the one that resists desire.
By the cynic, the sad, the fallen,
Who had no strength for the strife,
The world’s highway is cumbered to-day,
They make up the sum of life.
But the virtue that conquers passion,
And the sorrow that hides in a smile,
It is these that are worth the homage on earth
For we find them but once in a while.
Ella Wheeler Wilcox
“The probability that we may fail in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just.” – Abraham Lincoln
The Way Of It
‘THERE are roads that lead through valleys where the
grass is soft and green ;
There are lanes that lead through morning where the
friendly maples lean;
But for those who face the battle where the far height
holds its thrill
The only goal worth finding
Where the rock-filled road is winding,
Where the heavy burden’s binding,
Is the goal upon a hill.
We may think of life as something that is built up from
We may hear old songs that call us where the shafts of
But the storms beyond are waiting for the raw, un-
And though hearts and hopes are breaking
As we come to bitter waking,
Yet the only road worth taking
Is the road that leads uphill.
My Name Is Trouble
My name is Trouble—I’m a busy bloke— I am the test of Courage—and of Class—
I bind the coward to a bitter yoke,
I drive the craven from the crowning pass;
Weaklings I crush before they come to fame; But as the red star guides across the night,
I train the stalwart for a better game; I drive the brave into a harder fight.
My name is Hard Luck—the wrecker of rare dreams— I follow all who seek the open fray;
I am the shadow where the far light gleams For those who seek to know the open way;
Quitters I break before they reach the crest,
But where the red field echoes with the drums,
I build the fighter for the final test
And mold the brave for any drive that comes.
My name is Sorrow—I shall come to all To block the surfeit of an endless joy;
Along the Sable Road I pay my call Before the sweetness of success can cloy;
And weaker souls shall weep amid the throng And fall before me, broken and dismayed;
But braver hearts shall know that I belong And take me in, serene and unafraid.
My name’s Defeat—but through the bitter fight,
To those who know, I’m something more than friend;
For I can build beyond the wrath of might And drive away all yellow from the blend;
For those who quit, I am the final blow,
But for the brave who seek their chance to learn,
I show the way, at last, beyond the foe,
To where the scarlet flames of triumph burn.