THE WAY OF IT

              [Ella Wheeler Wilcox]

This is the way of it, wide world over;
One is beloved, and one is the lover;
    One gives and the other receives.
One lavishes all in a wild emotion,
One gives a smile for a life's devotion;
    One hopes and the other believes.
One lies awake in the night to weep,
And the other drifts into a sweet, sound sleep.

One soul is aflame with a God-like passion,
One plays with love in an idler's fashion;
    One speaks and the other hears.
One sobs I love you, and wet eyes show it,
And one laughs lightly, and says I know it,
    With smiles for the other's tears.
One lives for the other and nothing beside,
And the other remembers the world is wide.

This is the way of it, sad earth over;
The heart that breaks is the heart of the lover;
    And the other learns to forget.
For what is the use of endless sorrow?
Though the sun goes down, it will rise to-morrow,
    And life is not over yet.
Oh! I know this truth, if I know no other,
That Passionate Love is Pain's own mother.

Fayetteville Observer 20 Oct. 1887: 1.

Courtesy of John M. Freiermuth.


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