O! you who never bend the knee,
  And never lift the heart,
How do you live from year to year,
  And living, act your part.

How do you rise up in the morn,
  And pass the whole day through,
Without the Saviour at your side
  To guide and strengthen you.

How do you meet the daily ills
  That try the temper so!
That fret the heart and wear the soul
  More than some master woe.

How do you close your eyes and sleep,
  And how your crosses bear;
(Each has a cross, or small, or large)
  Without the aid of prayer?

How do you meet the mighty griefs,
  That rush upon the soul,
Engulfing it in bitterness,
  As angry waters roll?

How do you live at all, is one
  Deep mystery to me,
Oh you who never lift the heart
  And never bend the knee.

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

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