Worth While

An Inspirational Poem For Hard Times

 

by Elia Wheeler Wilcox

 

It is easy enough to be pleasant

When life flows by like a song,

But the man worthwhile 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.

 

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.

 

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