Great dignity ever attends great grief;
    And silently walks beside it.
And I always know when I meet such woe,
    That Invisible Helpers guide it.
And I know deep sorrow is like a tide,
    It can not always be flowing
The high water mark in the night and the dark--
    Then dawn, and the outward going.

But the people who pull at my heartstrings hard,
    Are the ones whom destiny hurries
Through commonplace ways, to the end of their days
    And pesters with paltry worries.
The peddlers who trudge with a budget of wares
    To the door that is slammed unkindly;
The vender who stands with his shop in his hands
    Where the hastening hosts pass blindly.

The woman who holds in her poor flat purse,
    The price of her room rent only;
While her starved eye feeds on the comforts she needs
    To brighten a lot that is lonely;
The man in the desert of endless work,
    Unsoftened by islands of leisure;
And the children who toil in dust and soil,
    While their little hearts cry for pleasure.

The people who labor and scrimp and save,
    At the call of some thankless duty,
And carefully hide with a mantle of pride
    Their ravening hunger for beauty.
These ask no pity and seek no aid,
    But the thought of them somehow is haunting;
And I wish I might fling at them every thing
    That I know in their hearts they are wanting.

Poems of Problems by Ella Wheeler Wilcox.
Chicago: W. B. Conkey, 1914.

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