Pleasure is learned from adversity
And joy from the knowledge of pain.
‘Tis troubles we have that help us to see
The value we have in a friend.
Life is so full of uncertainty
With disloyal friends and machines,
But a true friend is there when we need him to be,
When life comes apart at the seams.
I stood on the brink of a world in distress
And looked o’er the selfish abyss,
And knew there were many men willing to take
And few there were willing to give.
I determined to shape a world of my own
And ask not a quarter of them;
I’d give to the world from all that I’d sown
No matter how meager the stem.
I purchased my bliss with gifts of my hand.
I loaned with no interest required.
I covered my gifts as if buried in sand
And told not when I became tired.
I gave and, in giving, a pleasure derived,
Nor did I permit a return.
I blamed them for what I had others denied,
And indulged them no pleasure to earn.
The pleasures I’d learned from adversity
I protected from those that I loved.
The troubles I’ve seen I allowed none to see,
Thus allowing no friendship be proved.
Like others, I’ve endured calamity,
Yet I must continue to give.
Belated, I’ve learned that humility
Must also know how to receive.
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Poet's Notes about The Poem
Comments about this poem (Reciprocality * by Adeline Foster )
The Road Not Taken
If You Forget Me
Still I Rise
Edgar Allan Poe
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
William Ernest Henley
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