Thank Fate for foes! I hold mine dear
    As valued friends. He cannot know
The zest of life who runneth here
    His earthly race without a foe.

I saw a prize. "Run," cried my friend;
    "'Tis thine to claim without a doubt."
But ere I half-way reached the end
    I felt my strength was giving out.

My foe looked on the while I ran;
    A scornful triumph lit his eyes.
With that perverseness born in man,
    I nerved myself, and won the prize.

All blinded by the crimson glow
    Of sin's disguise, I tempted Fate.
"I knew thy weakness!" sneered my foe,
    I saved myself, and baulked his hate.

For half my blessings, half my gain,
    I needs must thank my trusty foe;
Despite his envy and disdain,
    He serves me well where'er I go.

So may I keep him to the end,
    Nor may his enmity abate;
More faithful than the fondest friend,
    He guards me ever with his hate.

Poetical works of Ella Wheeler Wilcox. by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Edinburgh : W. P. Nimmo, Hay, & Mitchell, 1917.

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