Madison Julius Cawein

(1865-1914 / the United States)

So Much To Do - Poem by Madison Julius Cawein

The face of the world is a homely face,
And the look of the world unkind,
When harsh on your arm a hand it lays
And bids you into the grind,
That 's little to your mind, my dear,
That 's little to your mind.

But it 's work that counts in the world, you see;
Not what we dream, but do:
For the dreamer of dreams, whatever he be,
If he 'd have his dreams come true,
Must be a workman, too, my dear,
Must be a workman, too.

So much to do; so much to know;
So much that life would shirk!
But each is one of a hive below,
The world's great Hive of Irk,
Where each must do his work, my dear,
Each one must do his work.

A song, a look, a word of cheer,
Will help more than a sigh!
For this is the law of the hive, my dear,
That every bee must try, my dear,
And all the drones must die, my dear,
That all the drones must die.

Oft-times it seems that the end is far,
And the work we do, in vain;
That night will never reveal a star,
And day bring only rain,
To trouble our hearts again, my dear,
To trouble our hearts again.

But ever the stars are shining there
With ever the old regard;
And be it foul, or be it fair,
However long debarred,
All work has its reward, my dear,
All work has its reward.

Could summer come without the rose?
Or morn without the sun?
And thus shall toil bring soul's repose
To each and every one,
Whose work at last is done, my dear,
Whose work at last is done.

For the face of the world is a homely face,
But the look in its eyes is kind
To him who sets his heart's brisk pace
To the work he has in mind,
And turns not with the wind, my dear,
And turns not with the wind.


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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, October 3, 2012



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