Though thy cheek be fair, as the roses are,
   Thy brow like the drifted snow,
And thine eye as bright, as the diamonds light,
   Yet if in thy heart doth grow
But noxious weeds, and selfish deeds
   Follow thy steps alway,
What in the end availeth it, friend,
   If thy face is fair, I pray.

For the smoothest brow, old Time will plow,
   And he dimmeth the brightest eye;
And the fairest face, and the form of grace,
   In the lowly grave must lie.
But our deeds live on, when life is done.
   Nor Time, nor death destroy;
And the words we say, will make their way
   With sorrow, or with joy.

And even the thought, that we utter not,
   In heaven is like a shout.
And bad or good, it is understood,
   And the angels write it out.
But they do not care, if the face be fair,
   Or what the world deems plain.
They look to the heart, and the deathless part,
   For the rest is poor and vain.


Shells by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Milwaukee: Hauser & Storey, 1873.

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