Ella Wheeler Wilcox
“Do you wish the world were better?
Let me tell you what to do:
Set a watch upon your actions,
Keep them always straight and true;
Rid your mind of selfish motives;
Let your thoughts be clean and high.
You can make a little Eden
Of the sphere you occupy.
Do you wish the world were wiser?
Well, suppose you make a start,
By accumulating wisdom
In the scrapbook of your heart:
Do not waste one page on folly;
Live to learn, and learn to live.
If you want to give men knowledge
You must get it, ere you give.
Do you wish the world were happy?
Then remember day by day
Just to scatter seeds of kindness”
“As you pass along the way;
For the pleasures of the many
May be ofttimes traced to one,
As the hand that plants an acorn
Shelters armies from the sun.”
When silence flees before the voice of Love,
Of what expression does that god approve?
Is dulcet song or flowing verse his choice,
Or stately prose, made regal by his voice?
Speaks Love in couplets, or in epics grand?
And is Love humble, or does he command?
There is no language that Love does not speak:
To-day commanding and to-morrow meek,
One hour laconic and the next verbose,
With hope triumphant and with doubt morose,
His varying moods all forms of speech employ.
To give expression to his painful joy.
To voice the phases of his joyful pain,
He rings the changes on the poet’s strain.
Yet not in epic, epigram or verse
Can Love the passion of his heart rehearse.
All speech, all language, is inadequate,
There are no words with Love commensurate.
Talk happiness! The world is sad enough,
Without your woes. No path is wholly rough;
Look for the places that are smooth and clear
And speak of those who rest the weary ear
Of earth, so hurt by one continuous strain
Of human discontent and grief and pain.
Talk health! The dreary, never changing tale
Of mortal maladies is worn and stale.
You cannot charm or interest or please,
By harping on that minor chord, disease.
Say you are well, or all is well with you,
And God shall hear your words and make them true.
Ella Wheeler Wilcox.
You will be what you will to be; Let failure find its false content
In that poor word “environment,” But spirit scorns it, and is free.
It masters time, it conquers space,
It cowes that boastful trickster Chance,
And bids the tyrant Circumstance Uncrown and fill a servant’s place.
The human Will, that force unseen, The offspring of a deathless Soul,
Can hew the way to any goal, Though walls of granite intervene.
Be not impatient in delay,
But wait as one who understands;
When spirit rises and commands The gods are ready to obey.
The river seeking for the sea Confronts the dam and precipice,
Yet knows it cannot fail or miss;
You will be what you will to be!
Ella Wheeler Wilcox.