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Poem by Ella Wheeler Wilcox


Which Are You?


There are two kinds of people on earth to-day;
Just two kinds of people, no more, I say.

Not the sinner and the saint, for its well understood,
The good are half bad and the bad are half good.

Not the rich and the poor, for to rate a mans wealth,
You must first know the state of his conscience and health.

Not the humble and proud, for in lifes little span,
Who puts on vain airs, is not counted a man.

Not the happy and sad, for the swift flying years
Bring each man his laughter and each man his tears.

No; the two kinds of people on earth I mean,
Are the people who lift, and the people who lean.

Wherever you go, you will find the earths masses,
Are always divided in just these two classes.

And oddly enough, you will find too, I ween,
Theres only one lifter to twenty who lean.

In which class are you? Are you easing the load,
Of overtaxed lifters, who toil down the road?

Or are you a leaner, who lets others share
Your portion of labor, and worry and care?



Ella Wheeler Wilcox


Ella Wheeler Wilcox's other poems:
  1. The Birth of the Opal
  2. At Forty-Eight
  3. Artist and Man
  4. As by Fire
  5. But a Dream


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