If I fail to catch the music in the gently falling rain,
If the splendors of the sunset spread their hues for me in vain,
If my heart sends back no echo to the bird in yonder tree —
Though my purse may hold a million, I would still a pauper be.
If the triumphs of my fellows wake no thrill within my breast,
If the task that waits the doing spurs me not to do my best,
If I do not find fresh courage with each day that passes by —
Then the beggar at the corner needs his crutches less than I.
—Nellie Goode (written nearly 100 years ago)