The Darker Side. They say that all nature is smiling and gay,
And the birds the most happy of all,
But the sparrow, pursued by the sparrowhawk,
Savors more of the wormwood and gall.

They say that all nature is smiling and gay,
But the groan may dissemble the laugh;
E'en now from the meadow is wafted the sound
Of a bovine bewailing her calf.

They say that all nature is smiling and gay,
But the moss often covers the rock;
Every animal form is beset by a foe,
For the wolf always follows the flock.

For the animal holds all inferior flesh
As its just and legitimate prey;
Every scream of the eagle a panic creates
As the weaker things scamper away.

They say that all nature is smiling and gay,
But the smiles are all needed to sweeten
The struggle we see so incessantly waged
To eat, and avoid being eaten.

And men, with their genial competitive ways
Present no decided improvements,
For their personal gain they will sacrifice all
Who may stand in the way of their movements.

The Darker Side. by Alfred Castner King