Once in a while, in this world so strange,
   To lighten our sad regrets,
We find a heart that is true through change--
   A heart that never forgets.
Oh rare as a blossoming rose in December--
   As a bird in an Arctic clime,
Is a heart, a heart that can remember
   Through sorrow and change and time.

Once in a while we find a love
   That will live through life and death,
Ay! that will follow the soul above,
   Not passing away with the breath.
But rarer, oh rarer by far and stranger
   Than a spring in the desert sand,
Is a love that will last, with toil, and danger,
   And strife on every hand.

Once in a while we find a friend
   That will cling through good or ill,
Whose friendship follows us e'en to the end,
   Be it up or adown the hill,
But the heart so true, and the love so tender,
   And friendship's faithful smile,
Whether we dwell in squalor or splendor,
   We find but "once in a while."


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

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