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WE REAP WHAT WE SOW
For pleasure or pain, for weal or for woe,
‘Tis the law of our being—we reap as we sow:
We may try to evade them; may do what we will,
But our acts, like our shadows, will follow us still.
The world is a wonderful chemist, be sure,
And detects in a moment the base or the pure:
We may boast of our claims to genius or birth,
But the world takes a man for just what he is worth.
Are you wearied and worn in this hard earthly strife?
Do you yearn for affection to sweeten your life?
Remember this great truth has often been proved—
We must make ourselves lovable would we be loved.
Though life may appear a desolate track,
Yet the bread we cast on the water comes back.
This law was enacted by heaven above—
That like begets like and love begets love,
We are proud of our mansions of mortar and stone;
In our gardens are flowers from every zone;
But the beautiful graces which blossom within,
Grow shriveled and die in the Upas of sin.
We make ourselves heroes and martyrs for gold,
‘Till health becomes broken and youth becomes old:
Ah! did we the same for a beautiful love,
Our lives might be music for angels above.
We reap what we sow—oh, wonderful truth!—
A truth hard to learn in the days of our youth;
But it shines out at last, as the “hand on the wall,”
For the world has its “debit” and “credit” for all.
— January, 1886 —