Ella Wheeler Wilcox
It is easy enough to be pleasant
When life flows by like a song,
But the man worth while is the 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 honour on earth
Is the one that resists desire.
p. 2By 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.
They say the world is round, and yet
I often think it square,
So many little hurts we get
From corners here and there.
But one great truth in life I’ve found,
While journeying to the West-
The only folks who really wound
Are those we love the best.
The man you thoroughly despise
Can rouse your wrath, ’tis true;
Annoyance in your heart will rise
At things mere strangers do;
But those are only passing ills;
This rule all lives will prove;
The rankling wound which aches and thrills
Is dealt by hands we love.
The choicest garb, the sweetest grace,
Are oft to strangers shown;
The careless mien, the frowning face,
Are given to our own.
We flatter those we scarcely know,
We please the fleeting guest,
And deal full many a thoughtless blow
To those who love us best.
Love does not grow on every tree,
Nor true hearts yearly bloom.
Alas for those who only see
This cut across a tomb!
But, soon or late, the fact grows plain
To all through sorrow’s test:
The only folks who give us pain
Are those we love the best.
But all the good in a man, for which he is praised or loved, is merely good suffering, the right kind, the living kind of suffering, a suffering to the full. The ability to suffer well is more than half of life — indeed, it is all life. Birth is suffering, growth is suffering, the seed suffers the earth, the root suffers the rain, the bud suffers its flowering. ~ Herman Hesse
I would not exchange the sorrows of my heart
For the joys of the multitude.
And I would not have the tears that sadness makes
To flow from my every part turn into laughter.
I would that my life remain a tear and a smile.
A tear to purify my heart and give me understanding
Of life’s secrets and hidden things.
A smile to draw me nigh to the sons of my kind and
To be a symbol of my glorification of the gods.
A tear to unite me with those of broken heart;
A smile to be a sign of my joy in existence.
I would rather that I died in yearning and longing than that I live Weary and despairing.
I want the hunger for love and beauty to be in the
Depths of my spirit,for I have seen those who are
Satisfied the most wretched of people.
I have heard the sigh of those in yearning and Longing, and it is sweeter than the sweetest melody.
With evening’s coming the flower folds her petals
And sleeps, embracingher longing.
At morning’s approach she opens her lips to meet
The sun’s kiss.
The life of a flower is longing and fulfilment.
A tear and a smile.
“I am sorry in the gladness
Of the joys that crown my days,
For the souls that sit in sadness
Or walk uninviting ways.
On the radiance of my labour
That a loving fate bestowed,
Falls the shadow of my neighbour,
Crushed beneath a thankless load.
As the canticle of pleasure
From my lovelit altar rolls,
There is one discordant measure,
As I think of homeless souls.
And I know that grim old story,
Preached from pulpits, is not so,
For no God could sit in glory
And see sinners writhe below.
In that great eternal Centre
Where all human life has birth,
Boundless love and pity enter
And flow downward to the earth.
And all souls in sin or sorrow
Are but passing through the night,
And I know on some to-morrow
God will love them into light.”