Ella Wheeler Wilcox

(5 November 1850 - 30 October 1919 / Johnstown Center / Rock County / Wisconsin)

Sunshine And Shadow


Life has its shadows, as well as its sun;
Its lights and its shades, all twined together.
I tried to single them out, one by one,
Single and count them, determining whether
There was less blue than there was grey,
And more of the deep night than of the day.
But dear me, dear me, my task’s but begun,
And I am not half way into the sun.

For the longer I look on the bright side of earth,
The more of the beautiful do I discover;
And really, I never knew what life was worth
Till I searched the wide storehouse of happiness over.
It is filled from the cellar well up to the skies,
With things meant to gladden the heart and the eyes.
The doors are unlocked, you can enter each room,
That lies like a beautiful garden in bloom.

Yet life has its shadow, as well as its sun;
Earth has its storehouse of joy and sorrow.
But the first is so wide – and my task’s but begun –
That the last must be left for a far-distant morrow.
I will count up the blessings God gave in a row,
But dear me! When I get through them, I know
I shall have little tine left for the rest,
For life is a swift-flowing river at best.

Submitted: Monday, May 19, 2003

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