These are the lessons I would learn,
Not how to climb above all men,
Not how the greatest sums to earn,
Not how to wield a master pen;
But I would learn how I can be
A little kinder than before,
How I can live more patiently
And help my friends a little more.
And I would learn to better show
My gratitude for favors had,
To see more of the good below
And less of what I think is bad.
To live not always in the day
To come, and count the joys to be,
But to remember, as I stray,
The past and what it brought to me.
To judge my life, not from today,
Nor what tomorrow it may mean,
But from each footstep of the way
And from each pleasure that has been,
Remembering in each present woe
The love and laughter I have known;
And to be grateful as I go,
For joys that once I called my own.
These are lessons I would learn:
To be as brave in grief and care
As I am when it is my turn
To tread the road where all is fair.
More grateful I would learn to be
For what has been, as on I tread,
And to press forward cheerfully.
Content to face what lies ahead.
by Edgar Albert Guest