Success”
By Bessie Anderson Smith*

He has achieved success
who has lived well,
laughed often, and loved much;

who has enjoyed the trust of
pure women,

the respect of intelligent men and
the love of little children;

who has filled his niche and accomplished his task;

who has left the world better than he found it
whether by an improved poppy,
a perfect poem or a rescued soul;

who has never lacked appreciation of Earth’s beauty
or failed to express it;

who has always looked for the best in others and
given them the best he had;

whose life was an inspiration;
whose memory a benediction.

 

 

*This poem is often incorrectly attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson, usually with the inclusion of the famous line: “To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”

Psalm 23
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