When life flows along 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 honor of 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 today;
They make up the item of life.
But the virtue that conquers passion,
And the sorrow that hides in a smile,
It is these that are worth the homage of earth,
For we find them but once in a while. —Ella Wheeler Wilcox