John Boyle O'Reilly

(28 June 1844 - 10 August 1890 / Dowth Castle, County Meath)

Two Lives - Poem by John Boyle O'Reilly

TWO youths from a village set out together
To seek their fortune the wide world through;
One cried, 'Hurra for the autumn weather!'
The other sighed, 'Winter is almost due!'
One failed, they said, for he never was thrifty,
Returned to the village, and laughed and loved.
The other succeeded, and when he was fifty
Had millions and fame, and the world approved.

But the failure was happy, his smile a blessing,
The dogs and the children romped at his feet,
While from him who succeeded, tho' much possessing,
The little ones shrank when they chanced to meet.
One purchased respect by his lordly giving:
The other won love by his loving ways;
And if either had doubts of his way of living,
It wasn't the one with the humble days.
They never knew it, but both were teachers
Of deep life-secrets, these village youths—
The one of a school where Facts are preachers—
The other of a world that worships Truths.


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Poem Submitted: Sunday, May 20, 2012



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