'Tis easy enough to be pleasant, when life flows by like a song
But the man worthwhile is one who will smile,
when everything goes 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 the tears.
'Tis 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 is only a negative virtue, until it is tried by fire,
And the life that is worth the honor on earth,
is one that resists the 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 sum of life.
But the virtue that conquers passion, and the sorrow that hides in a smile
'Tis these that are worth the homage on earth,
for we find them but once in a while.
-Ella Wheeler Wilcox