You never can 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 may 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 the harvest you may not see.
Each kindly act is an acorn dropped
In God’s productive soil;
You may not know, but the tree shall grow
With shelter for those who 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 of your mind.
by Ella Wheeler Wilcox