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Poem by Ella Wheeler Wilcox


I must do as you do? Your own way I own
    Is a very good way. And still,
There are sometimes two straight roads to a town,
    One over, one under the hill.

You are treading the safe and the well-worn way
    That the prudent choose each time;
And you think me reckless and rash to-day
    Because I prefer to climb.

Your path is the right one, and so is mine.
    We are not like peas in a pod,
Compelled to lie in a certain line,
    Or else be scattered abroad.

'Twere a dull old world, methinks, my friend,
    If we all went just one way;
Yet our paths will meet no doubt at the end,
    Though they lead apart to-day.

You like the shade, and I like the sun;
    You like an even pace,
I like to mix with the crowd and run,
    And then rest after the race.

I like danger, and storm and strife,
    You like a peaceful time;
I like the passion and surge of life,
    You like its gentle rhyme,

You like buttercups, dewy sweet,
    And crocuses, framed in snow;
I like roses, born of the heat,
    And the red carnation's glow.

I must live my life, not yours, my friend,
    For so it was written down;
We must follow our given paths to the end--
    But I trust we shall meet--in town. 

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Ella Wheeler Wilcox's other poems:
  1. The Birth of the Opal
  2. The Awakening (I love the tropics, where sun and rain)
  3. The Breaking of Chains
  4. The Chain
  5. The Coming Man

Poems of the other poets with the same name:

  • Mary Montagu Advice ("Cease, fond shepherd -- cease desiring")

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