UPON THE WAY

For pausing on the way awhile
To make some other pilgrim smile,
E'en though it puts us back a mile,
  We've time enough for that, my friend.
The day is long, and bright, and glad;
To stop a bit and cheer the sad,
  Will never hinder in the end.

To loiter ever now and then,
To answer bitter words of men,
And give for scoff a scoff again,
  We have not time for that, my friend.
The night is nearer than we know;
To stop and deal out blow for blow
  Will hinder sorely in the end.

For pausing sometimes on the way,
And seeking some who've gone astray,
Restoring them to light and day,
  We've time enough to spare, my friend.
To stop and lift some other's load,
Will lighten ours upon the road,
  And can but help us in the end.

To linger by the road and wait
Some season to retaliate
For every spiteful act of hate,
  We have no time to spare, my friend.
To stone each barking dog we hear,
To kill each insect flying near,
  Will only hinder in the end.

To sum it up in words like these,
We've time to praise, but none to tease;
We've time to soothe, and time to please,
  But none to grieve or wound, my friend.
And if we wisely spend each day,
We'll find true pleasure on the way,
  And God will help us to the end.

Maurine by Ella Wheeler
Milwaukee: Cramer, Aikens & Cramer, 1876.


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