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The Gain of Loss

by John Hobart Egbert

If wounded hearts were all unknown on earth,
How could we know the preciousness of balm?
If storms ne'er swept across life's placid sea,
What would we know about the peace of calm?

If bitter sorrows had no place in life.
The sense of joy would have to be revised,
Bare roses on a thornless bush would lack
Chaste settings of the gems most highly prized.

Were there no rugged mountain steeps to climb,
We could not vision valleys fresh and green;
Were there no "Ups and Downs" for us in life,
We'd never know what "Resting Places" mean.

Had we no weaknesses to overcome,
No enemies of righteousness to fight,
We'd never know the thrill that comes to him
Who stands or falls in the defense of Right.

Were there no broken vows, no want or trust,
No yearning hearts, no lack of constancy,
Then Faith and Hope could have no mission here,
Nor Love lay claim to sweet supermacy.

There always is some recompense, some good in ill.
Were cross unmixed with gold in human kind,
The adamantine strands of friendship's "Threefold Cord"
From "Common Clay" had never been refined.

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