The Reason For Work By Edgar Albert Guest

The Reason For Work

Some struggle hard for worldly fame,
Some toil to have an honored name,
And some have great ambition.
A few there are who strive that they
May save the heathen far away,
Which is a noble mission.
Still others work for riches vast
To have enough when youth is past
For charitable giving;
Yet millions of us work by day,
And this our object is alway:
To make a decent living.

This is the secret of our toil,
For this we burn the midnight oil,
For this the rhymester sings.
‘T is want that spurs us on, not fame,
‘T is hunger, not a world-wide name —
The need of worldly things.
Though fame may come in after years,
And in his ears may ring the cheers
And plaudits of the crowd,
‘T is not for them man toils today,
But that his wife and babies may
Be decently endowed.

That he may have enough to wear,
Enough to eat, enough to spare
To give to those in need,
Is, after all, man’s purpose true,
‘T is all the good man hopes to do;
For more than that is greed.
The greatest things are done by those
Who face privation and its woes
And seek to climb above them;
The men who rise to fame, you’ll find,
Take thought of first and keep in mind
The needs of those who love them.

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