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Poem by Ella Wheeler Wilcox


The Spur


I asked the rock beside the road what joy existence lent.
It answered, 'For a million years my heart has been content.'

I asked the truffle-seeking swine, as rooting by he went,
'What is the keynote of your life?' He grunted out, 'Content.'

I asked a slave, who toiled and sang, just what his singing meant.
He plodded on his changeless way, and said, 'I am content.'

I asked a plutocrat of greed, on what his thoughts were bent.
He chinked the silver in his purse, and said, 'I am content.'

I asked the mighty forest tree from whence its force was sent.
Its thousand branches spoke as one, and said, 'From discontent.'

I asked the message speeding on, by what great law was rent
God's secret from the waves of space. It said, 'From discontent.'

I asked the marble, where the works of God and man were blent,
What brought the statue from the block. It answered 'Discontent.'

I asked an Angel, looking down on earth with gaze intent,
How man should rise to larger growth. Quoth he, 'Through discontent.' 



Ella Wheeler Wilcox


Ella Wheeler Wilcox's other poems:
  1. The Birth of the Opal
  2. At Eleusis
  3. But a Dream
  4. The Call (All wantonly in hours of joy)
  5. The Awakening (I love the tropics, where sun and rain)


Poems of the other poets with the same name:

  • William Yeats The Spur ("YOU think it horrible that lust and rage")

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