You Can Never Tell
By Ella Wheeler Wilcox
You can never tell when you send a word
Like an arrow shot from a bow
By an archer blind, be it cruel or kind,
Just where it will chance to go.
It may pierce the breast of your dearest friend,
Tipped with its poison or balm;
To a stranger’s heart in life’s great mart
It may carry its pain or its calm.
You never can tell when you do an act
Just what the result will be,
But with every deed you are sowing a seed,
Though its harvest you may not see.
Each kindly act is an acorn dropped
In God’s productive soil;
Though you may not know, yet the tree shall grow
And shelter the brows that toil.
You never can tell what your thoughts will do
In bringing you hate or love,
For thoughts are things, and their airy wings
Are swifter than carrier doves.
They follow the law of the universe—
Each thing must create its kind,
And they speed o’er the track to bring you back
Whatever went out from your mind.
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