If the sun blazed always from cloudless skies,
And rain never fell on the earth,
No beautiful trees would give rest and shade,
No flowers would have new birth.
No grain would grow in the sun-baked soil,
No fruits form on the trees.
If the sun shone hot all over the world,
There would be no cooling breeze.
But the hot air rises on arid plains,
And the cool sea-breeze blows o’er,
The sun draws up and returns in rain,
The ocean’s exhaustless store.
If happiness filled our lives to the brim,
And we knew no sorrow or tears,
Our hearts would be hard, and our souls would grow dim,
If we had no trials or cares.
But the tears that fall when sorrow comes,
Soften our hearts hard core.
The trees of strength and endeavour grow high,
When the gales of adversity roar.
In our hearts grow the flowers of sympathy,
Of understanding and grace.
Our souls expand and look upon,
Our heavenly Father’s face.
Not alone in sorrow’s dark days,
But in joyful happy years,
We can share and help and sympathise,
After passing the Vale of Tears.
May’s poem ‘The Lessons We Learn’ is another expression of her beliefs and hopes for a better future. She had written in her Diary with these sentiments and a prayerful conclusion, at Easter time, a few weeks earlier (see 5 Apr. 1942). The poem has been added to the poems collection on this site. It also appears in the book The Casualties Were Small which contains over twenty of May’s poems as well as selected diary extracts, including those which suggest the background to each poem, accompanied by many nostalgic photographs.
Have you read an introduction to May Hill & family (includes photographs) and explored ‘The Casualties Were Small’?