Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Nov. 5, 1850 - Oct. 30, 1919


Pain's Proof

by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

I think man's great capacity for pain
Proves his immortal birthright. I am sure
No merely human mind could bear the strain
Of some tremendous sorrows we endure.

Art's most ingenious breastworks fail at length,
Beat by the mighty billows of the sea:
Only the God-formed shores possess the strength
To stand before their onslaughts, and not flee.

The structure that we build with careful toil,
The tempest lays in ruins in an hour;
While some grand tree that springs forth from the soil
Is bended but not broken by its power.

Unless our souls had root in soil divine
We could not bear earth's overwhelming strife.
The fiercest pain that racks this heart of mine,
Convinces me of everlasting life.


Poems of Pleasure
Copyright 1900
Gay And Bird, 22 Bedford Street, Strand, London