by Robert Laurence Binyon
Woe to him that has not known the woe of man,
Who has not felt within him burning all the want
Of desolated bosoms, since the world began;
Felt, as his own, the burden of the fears that daunt;
Who has not eaten failure's bitter bread, and been
Among those ghosts of hope that haunt the day, unseen.
Only when we are hurt with all the hurt untold,--
In us the thirst, the hunger, and ours the helpless hands,
The palsied effort vain, the darkness and the cold,--
Then, only then, the Spirit knows and understands,
And finds in every sigh breathed out beneath the sun
The human heart that makes us infinitely one.
Last updated January 14, 2019