An artist toiled over his pictures;
    He laboured by night and by day.
He struggled for glory and honour,
    But the world had nothing to say.
Her walls were ablaze with the splendours
    We see in the beautiful skies;
But the world beheld only the colours---
    They were made out of chemical dyes.

Time sped. And he lived, loved, and suffered;
    He passed through the valley of grief.
Again he toiled over his canvas,
    Since in labour alone was relief.
It showed not the splendour of colours
    Of those of his earlier years,
But the world? the world bowed down before it,
    Because it was painted with tears.

A poet was gifted with genius,
    And he sang, and he sang all the days.
He wrote for the praise of the people,
    But the people accorded no praise.
Oh, his songs were as blithe as the morning,
    As sweet as the music of birds;
But the world had no homage to offer,
    Because they were nothing but words.

Time sped. And the poet through sorrow
    Became like his suffering kind.
Again he toiled over his poems
    To lighten the grief of his mind.
They were not so flowing and rhythmic
    As those of his earlier years,
But the world? lo! it offered its homage
    Because they were written in tears.

So ever the price must be given
    By those seeking glory in art;
So ever the world is repaying
    The grief-stricken, suffering heart.
The happy must ever be humble;
    Ambition must wait for the years,
Ere hoping to win the approval
    Of a world that looks on through its tears.

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

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