There is much in life that makes me sorry as I journey
down life’s way.
And I seem to see more pathos in poor human
Lives each day.
I’m sorry for the strong brave men, who shield
the weak from harm,
But who, in their own troubled hours find no
Protecting arm.

I’m sorry for the victors who have reached
success, to stand
As targets for the arrows shot by envious failure’s
hand.
I’m sorry for the generous hearts who freely
shared their wine,
But drink alone the gall of tears in fortune’s
drear decline.

I’m sorry for the souls who build their own fame’s
funeral pyre,
Derided by the scornful throng like ice deriding
fire.
I’m sorry for the conquering ones tho know not
sin’s defeat,
But daily tread down fierce desire ‘neath scorched
and bleeding feet.

I’m sorry for the anguished hearts that break with
passions strain,
But I’m sorrier for the poor starved souls that
Never knew love’s pain.
Who hunger on through barren years not tasting
joys they crave,
For sadder far is such a lot than weeping o’er a
grave.

I’m sorry for the souls that come unwelcomed
into birth,
I’m sorry for the unloved old who cumber up the
earth.
I’m sorry for the suffering poor in life’s great
maelstrom hurled,
In truth I’m sorry for them all who make this
aching world.

But underneath whate’er seems sad and is not
understood,
I know there lies hid from our sight a mighty
germ of good.
And this belief stands firm by me, my sermon,
motto, text —
The sorriest things in this life will seem grandest
in the next.

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

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