Ella Wheeler Wilcox
(1850 - 1919)
I know not whence I came,
I know not whither I go;
But the fact stands clear that I am here
In this world of pleasure and woe.
And out of the mist and the murk
Another truth shines plain –
It is my power each day and hour
To add to its joy or its pain.
I know that the earth exists,
It is none of my business why;
I cannot find out what it’s all about,
I would but waste time to try.
My life is a brief, brief thing,
I am here for a little space,
And while I stay I would like, if I may,
To brighten and better the place.
The trouble, I think, with us all
Is the lack of a high conceit.
If each man thought he was sent to this spot
To make it a bit more sweet,
How soon we could gladden the world,
How easily right all wrong,
If nobody shirked, and each one worked
To help his fellows along!
Cease wondering why you came –
Stop looking for faults and flaws;
Rise up to-day in your pride and say,
‘I am part of the First Great Cause!
However full the world,
There is room for an earnest man.
It had need of me, or I would not be –
I am here to strengthen the plan.’
|Straight through my heart this fact
By Truth’s own hand is driven:
God never takes one thing away,
But something else is given.
I did not know in earlier years,
This law of love and kindness;
I only mourned through bitter tears
My loss, in sorrow’s blindness.
But, ever following each regret
O’er some departed treasure,
My sad repining heart was met
With unexpected pleasure.
I thought is only happened so;
But time this truth taught me –
No least thing from my life can go,
But something else is brought to me.
It is the Law, complete, sublime;
And now, with Faith unshaken,
In patience I but bide my time
When any joy is taken.
No matter if the crushing blow
May for the moment down me,
Still, back of it waits Love, I know
With some new gift to crown me.