If one poor burdened toiler o’er life’s road,
Who meets us by the way,
Goes on less conscious of his galling load,
Then life, indeed, does pay.

If we can show the troubled heart the gain
That lies always in loss,
Why, then, we too are paid for all the pain
Of bearing life’s hard cross.

If some despondent soul to hope is stirred,
Some sad lip made to smile,
By any act of ours, or any word,
Then, life has been worth while.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Ella Wheeler Wilcox's poem Does It Pay?


  1. Dia says:

    I think it is beautiful writting. It says of the little affects that we have on people that we often times don’t realize. We do affect people even if we don’t realize it.

  2. yann rolland says:

    i like this poem because it tells something important for me, that we don’t learn anything of Life without losing…It’s absolutely true and we must learn to be happy with that…How difficult it is…

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