The Truth Teller lifts the curtain,
   And shows us the people's plight;
And everything seems uncertain,
   And nothing at all looks right.
Yet out of the blackness groping,
   My heart finds a world in bloom;
For it somehow is fashioned for hoping,
   And it cannot live in the gloom.

He tells us from border to border,
   That race is warring with race;
With riot and mad disorder,
   The earth is a wretched place;
And yet ere the sun is setting
   I am thinking of peace, not strife;
For my heart has a way of forgetting
   All things save the joy of life.

I heard in my Youth's beginning
   That earth was a region of woe,
And trouble, and sorrow, and sinning:
   The Truth Teller told me so.
I knew it was true, and tragic;
   And I mourned over much that was wrong;
And then, by some curious magic,
   The heart of me burst into song.

The years have been going, going,
   A mixture of pleasure and pain;
But the Truth Teller's books are showing
   That evil is on the gain.
And I know that I ought to be grieving,
   And I should be too sad to sing;
But somehow I keep on believing
   That life is a glorious thing.

The Englishman and other poems by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
London : Gay and Hancock, Ltd., 1912.

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