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Poem by Ella Wheeler Wilcox


Circumstance


Talk not to me of souls that do conceive
   Sublime ideals, but, deterred by Fate
   And bound by circumstances, sit desolate,
And long for heights they never can achieve.

It is not so. That which we most desire,
   With understanding, we at last obtain,
   In part or whole. I hold there is no rain,
No deluge, that can quench a heavenly fire.

Show me thy labour, I straightway will name
   The nature of thy thoughts. Who bends the bow,
   And lets the arrow from the strained string go,
Strikes somewhere near the object of his aim.

We build our ships from timbers of the brain;
   With products of the soul we load the hold;
   Where lies the blame if they bring back no gold,
Or if they spring a leak upon the main?

There is no Fate, no Providence, no Chance,
   The will is all. So be it thou art pure,
   And strong of purpose, thy success is sure;
But fools and sluggards prate of circumstance.



Ella Wheeler Wilcox


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


Poems of the other poets with the same name:

  • John Trowbridge Circumstance ("STALKING before the lords of life, one came")

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