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If this were all  (2013 rev)
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If this were all (2013 rev)


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  • 1. byEdgar A. Guest
  • 2. If this were all of lifewell know ,
  • 3. If this brief space of breath
  • 4. Were all there isto human toil
  • 5. If death were really death,
  • 6. And never should the soul arise A finer world to see,
  • 7. How foolish wouldour struggles seem, How grimthe earth would be!
  • 8. If living were the whole of life, To end in seventy years,
  • 9. How pitiful its joys would seem! How idle all its tears!
  • 10. Thered be no faith to keep us true, No hope to keep us strong,
  • 11. And only fools would cherish dreams—No smile would last for long.
  • 12. How purposeless the strife would beIf there were nothing more,
  • 13. If there were not a plan to serve, An end to struggle for!
  • 14. No reason for a mortals birth Except to have him die--
  • 15. How silly all the goals would seem For which men bravely try.
  • 16. There must be something after death; Behind the toil of man
  • 17. There must exist a God divine Whos working out a plan;
  • 18. As life must really be
  • 19. The gateway to a finer worldThat some day we shall see.
  • 20. Note: This poem is written in my mothershand on the last page of a Bible I found whilecleaning out my fathers library in 1997.The Bible is inscribed as follows:To Ruby Lee Perry: For the best composition on the Life ofPaul. From your Leader …. W. L Watkins There is no date, but it must have been given to her in Park Street Baptist Church in ColumbiaS.C., around 1921 when she was a teenager. It is one of only two writings I have in mymothers hand. My mother did not live her "seventy years". She died at age 33 on ChristmasDay, 1941, when I was seven. Two younger siblings died in their early years and her sister,Margaret Perry, died at age 21. Perhaps that is why this poem meant a lot to her. Until mychildren were born, I was the only surviving member of the Perry family. My father, James P.Wesberry died exactly 51 years after my mother, on Christmas Day 1992. I look forward to the"gateway to a finer world"…James P. Wesberry, Jr .