I think man's great capacity for pain
    Proves his immortal birthright. I am sure
No merely human mind could bear the strain
    Of some tremendous sorrows we endure.

Art's most ingenious breastworks fail at length,
    Beat by the mighty billows of the sea;
Only the God-formed shores possess the strength
    To stand before their onslaughts, and not flee.

The structure that we build with careful toil,
    The tempest lays in ruins in an hour;
While some grand tree that springs forth from the soil
    Is bended but not broken by its power.

Unless our souls had root in soil divine
    We could not bear earth's overwhelming strife.
The fiercest pain that racks this heart of mine,
    Convinces me of everlasting life.

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

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