Published on Academy of American Poets (


A moment of pleasure,
    An hour of pain,
A day of sunshine,
    A week of rain,
A fortnight of peace,
  A month of strife,
These taken together
  Make up life. 

One real friend
    To a dozen foes,
Two open gates,
  ’Gainst twenty that’s closed,
Prosperity’s chair,
    Then adversity’s knife;
These my friends
    Make up life.

At daybreak a blossom,
    At noontime a rose,
At twilight ’tis withered,
    At evening ’tis closed.
The din of confusion,
    The strain of the fife,
These with other things
    Make up life.

A smile, then a tear,
    Like a mystic pearl,
A pause, then a rush
    Into the mad whirl,
A kiss, then a stab
  From a traitor’s knife;
I think that you’ll agree with me, 
    That this life.


This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on July 31, 2021, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem

“Life” appeared in Nuggets of Gold (Jaxon Printing Company, 1921).


Carrie Law Morgan Figgs

Carrie Law Morgan Figgs was born in 1878. A teacher, community leader, playwright, and poet, Figgs was the author of Poetic Pearls (Edward Waters College Press, 1920) and Nuggets of Gold (Jaxon Printing Company, 1921), as well as several plays. She died in 1968.

Date Published: 1921-01-01

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