YOU never can tell when you send a word--
   Like an arrow shot from a bow
By an archer blind-- be it cruel or kind,
Just where it will chance to go.
It may pierce the breast of your dearest friend,
   Tipped with its poison or balm;
To a stranger's heart in life's great mart
   It may carry its pain or its calm.

You never can tell when you do an act
   Just what the result will be;
But with every deed you are sowing a seed,
   Though the harvest you may not see.
Each kindly act is an acorn dropped
   In God's productive soil;
You may not know, yet the tree shall grow
   And shelter the brows that toil.

You never can tell what your thoughts will do
   In bringing you hate or love;
For thoughts are things, and their airy wings
   Are swifter than carrier doves.
They follow the law of the universe--
   Each thing must create its kind;
And they speed o'er the track to bring you back
   Whatever went out from your mind.

By Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Munseys Monthly 12 (February 1895): 471.

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