Preaching vs. Practice

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Ella Wilcox Wheeler

It is easy to sit in the sunshine 
And talk to the man in the shade; 
It is easy to float in a well-trimmed boat, 
And point out the places to wade.

But once we pass into the shadows, 
We murmur and fret and frown, 
And, our length from the bank, we shout for a plank, 
Or throw up our hands and go down. 

It is easy to sit in your carriage, 
And counsel the man on foot, 
But get down and walk, and you'll change your talk, 
As you feel the peg in your boot. 

It is easy to tell the toiler 
How best he can carry his pack, 
But no one can rate a burden's weight 
Until it has been on his back. 

The up-curled mouth of pleasure, 
Can prate of sorrow's worth, 
But give it a sip, and a wryer lip, 
Was never made on earth.