In the Long Run

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In the long run fame finds the deserving man.
   The lucky wight may prosper for a day,
But in good time true merit leads the van
   And vain pretence, unnoticed, goes its way.
There is no Chance, no Destiny, no Fate,
But Fortune smiles on those who work and wait,
      In the long run.

In the long run all godly sorrow pays,
   There is no better thing than righteous pain,
The sleepless nights, the awful thorn-crowned days,
   Bring sure reward to tortured soul and brain.
Unmeaning joys enervate in the end,
But sorrow yields a glorious dividend
      In the long run.

In the long run all hidden things are known,
   The eye of truth will penetrate the night,
And good or ill, thy secret shall be known,
   However well 'tis guarded from the light.
All the unspoken motives of the breast
Are fathomed by the years and stand confess'd
      In the long run.

In the long run all love is paid by love,
   Though undervalued by the hosts of earth;
The great eternal Government above
   Keeps strict account and will redeem its worth.
Give thy love freely; do not count the cost;
So beautiful a thing was never lost
      In the long run.

by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
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