All in the dark we grope along,
      And if we go amiss
We learn at least which path is wrong,
      And there is gain in this.

We do not always win the race.
      By only running right,
We have to tread the mountain's base
      Before we reach its height.

The Christs alone no errors made;
      So often had they trod
The paths that lead through light and shade,
      They had become as God.

As Krishna, Buddha, Christ again,
      They passed along the way,
And left those mighty truths which men
      But dimly grasp to-day.

But he who loves himself the last
      And knows the use of pain,
Though strewn with errors all his past,
      He surely shall attain.

Some souls there are that needs must taste
      Of wrong, ere choosing right;
We should not call those years a waste
      Which led us to the light.

Poems of Power by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Chicago : W. B. Conkey, 1902.

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