If any line that I ever penned,
Or any word I have spoken,
Has comforted heart of foe or friend –
In any way, why my life, I’ll say,
Has reaped the reward of labour,
If aught I have said, or written, has made
Gladder the heart o’ my neighbour.

If any deed that I ever did
Lightened a sad heart’s sorrow,
If I have lifted a drooping lid
Up to the bright to-morrow,
Though the world knows not, nor gives me a thought,
Nor ever can know, nor praise me,
Yet still I shall say, to my heart alway,
That my life and labour repay me.

If in any way I have helped a soul,
Or given a spirit pleasure,
Then my cup of joy, I shall think is full
With an overflowing measure.
Though never an eye, but the one on high
Looks on my kindly action,
Yet, O my heart, we shall think of our part
In the drama, with satisfaction.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Ella Wheeler Wilcox's poem Contentment

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