Two men

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by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

So much one thought about the life beyond
He did not drain the waters of his pond;
And when death laid his children ’neath the sod
He called it - ‘the mysterious will of God.’
He would not strive for worldly gain, not he.
His wealth, he said, was stored in God’s To Be.
He kept his mortal body poorly drest,
And talked about the garments of the blest.
And when to his last sleep he laid him down,
His only mourner begged her widow’s gown.

One was not sure there was a life to come,
So made an Eden of his earthly home.
He strove for wealth, and with an open hand
He comforted the needy in his land.
He wore new garments often, and the old
Helped many a brother to keep out the cold.
He said this life was such a little span
Man ought to make the most of it, - for man.
And when he died the fortune that he left
Gave succour to the needy and bereft.

from Poems of Experience by Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1917)

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