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This world is not a wilderness;
'T is not a veil of tears;
I hate these endless murmurings
About life's dreary years--
As if unerring Wisdom here
Had made a grand mistake,
And given to his noblest work
Such bitterness of fate.


This world is not a gloomy vale
Of darkness, woe, and death,
Where sighs and tears must float for aye
On every passing breath;
I hate the selfish hearts that pine,
The selfish tongues that croak;
It seems too much like finding fault
With God's own handiwork.


I know there's sometimes cause for tears,
And so there's need of rain;
But is the earth less beautiful
When sunlight smiles again?
I know that shadows often drift
Between us and the light;
And so the clouds oft hide the sun,
But does it shine less bright?


This world is not a wilderness,
And man is not a slave
To storms of ceaseless sorrowing
That follow to the grave.
We have no time for murmuring;
Life is a solemn fact,
And those who do the pining here
Are not the ones that act.


Then, though the swift years bring thee care,
There are sadder hearts than thine;
There are weaker ones that shudder now
In rougher blasts of time.
Pray for the erring and the weak;
Go, crush the sad heart's sigh,
And when thy work is done, thou'lt find
That thine own cheek is dry.


Then mourn not that the path we tread
Lies sometimes through the shade;
Remember, thou art finding fault
With what God's hand has made.
This world is not a wilderness
Unto the loving mind
That labors with an earnest will
For God and humankind.