I want to celebrate my birthday today with an upbeat, inspiring poem — and I found this one that fits the bill perfectly.
The Brighter Side
by Edgar Guest
Though life has its trouble and life has its care
and often its dark days of sorrow,
there is always the hope that the sky will be fair
and the heart will be happy tomorrow.
There’s always the light of a goal just ahead,
a glimpse of the dream we’re pursuing,
in spite of the difficult pathway we tread
there is much it is good to be doing.
Time empties the purse of the pennies of youth,
the heart of its innocent laughter,
but gives in return just a few grains of truth
and the promise of more to come after.
There’s never a new day lived out to the end,
however life’s tempests may pitch us,
but what with a triumph, a joy, or a friend,
the swift, fleeting hours may enrich us.
There is so much to do and there’s so much to see
in spite of the troubles that fret us,
so much to wait for and so much to be
if only the future will let us —
that life with its burdens and life with its tears
and its heart-burning touches of sadness
still lures us all on to the end of our years
with its friendships, its loves, and its gladness.
From the book, Collected Verse of Edgar A. Guest,
©1934 by the Reilly & Lee Co
by Edgar A Guest
If this were all of life we’ll know,
if this brief space of breath
were all there is to human toil,
if death were really death,
and never should the soul arise
a finer world to see
how foolish would our struggles seem.
How grim the earth would be!
If living were the whole of life,
to end in seventy years,
how pitiful its joys would seem.
How idle all its tears!
There’d be no faith to keep us true,
no hope to keep us strong,
and only fools would cherish dreams —
no smile would last for long.
How purposeless the strife would be
if there were nothing more,
if there were not a plan to serve,
an end to struggle for!
No reason for a mortal’s birth
except to have him die —
how silly all the goals would seem
for which men bravely try.
There must be something after death;
behind the toil of man
there must exist a God divine
Who’s working out a plan.
And this brief journey that we know
as life — must really be
the gateway to a finer world
that someday we shall see.
From his book, Collected Verse of Edgar A Guest
© 1934 by The Reilly & Lee Company
Word Press daily prompt: Abstract
by Edgar Guest
Not for the sake of the gold,
not for the sake of the fame,
not for the prize would I hold
any ambition or aim:
I would be brave and be true
just for the good I can do.
I would be useful on earth,
serving some purpose or cause,
doing some labor of worth,
giving no thought to applause,
thinking less of the gold or the fame
than the joy and the thrill of the game.
Medals their brightness may lose,
fame be forgotten or fade;
any reward we may choose
leaves the account still unpaid.
But little real happiness lies
in fighting alone for a prize.
Give me the thrill of the task,
the joy of the battle and strife,
of being of use – and I’ll ask
no greater reward from this life.
Better than fame or applause
is striving to further a cause.
From his book, A Heap O’ Livin’
© 1916 by the Reilly & Britton Company
Hope you find this verse inspiring. I’ve also posted another fiction story about a fellow lost in a spring storm, titled A Whiff of Smoke, on Christine Composes.com.
One broken dream is not the end of dreaming,
One shattered hope is not the end of all,
Beyond the storm and tempest stars are gleaming,
Still build your castles, though your castles fall.
Though many dreams come tumbling in disaster,
And pain and heartache meet us down the years,
Still keep your faith, your dreams and hopes to master
And seek to find the lesson of your tears.
Not all is as it should be! See how littered
With sorry wreckage is life’s restless stream.
Some dreams are vain, but be you not embittered
And never cry that you have ceased to dream!
by Edgar Guest
Be grateful in the morning for the day that lies before;
be grateful in the evening that you still have strength in store.
What if you come a failure home – there’s rest when you get in
and those who keep their faith in you believe you’re going to win.
The coward wears his failures long and lets them weigh him down,
and so with sullen eyes he goes forever through the town,
he thinks the gods have picked him out as one to trample low,
and he’s a beaten man before his rival strikes a blow.
Be grateful for the dawning day and all that it may bring;
don’t carry yesterdays about like buttons on a string;
press forward to the field once more – one victory’s all you need.
You’ll laugh at failures you have had the minute you succeed.
The fighting heart may some day win, the quitter never can;
there’s many a battle turns upon the spirit of a man;
and who begins the day with faith, despite his failures past,
may see the tide of victory turn and roll his way at last.
“Appreciation is the highest form of prayer, for it acknowledges the presence of good wherever you shine your thankful thoughts.” — Alan Cohen