If We Don't Or If We Do.

A poem by Freeman Edwin Miller

If we don't or if we do.
What's the odds to me and you?
Fame is e'er a heartless jade,
And her slaves are poorly paid;
Weary hearts and soul's distress
Are the prices of success;
All our stations sadness view,--
If we don't or if we do.

If we don't or if we do,
Our deservings will accrue;
We must pay the fullest price,
For each virtue and each vice,
And each life for every thing
Must an equal portion bring;
Justice shall our deeds review,
If we don't or if we do.

If we don't or if we do,
Fortune to our worth is true;
Trophies that enshroud our clay,
Scarce are worth the price we pay;
Shame doth small endeavors share,
Fame and glory, toil and care;
Earth floats but an equal crew,
If we don't or if we do.

If we don't or if we do,
What's the diff'rence 'tween the two,
When our souls have gone to God
And we sleep beneath the sod?
Kindred grasses wave and creep
Where the prince and pauper sleep;
We shall have our six-feet-two,
If we don't or if we do.

If we don't or if we do,
We but dust and ashes brew;
Labor, trouble, toil and strife
Weave within each human life;
Sorrows cloud the younger years;
Age is bowed with cares and tears;
Accidents in fame are few,--
If we don't or if we do.

If we don't or if we do.
Fate to our deserts is true;
If we fail, or falter not,
Every life deserves his lot;
Every human, small or great,
Buys with current coin his fate;
What's the odds to me and you,
If we don't or if we do?

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