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Poem by Ella Wheeler Wilcox


Two Friends


One day Ambition, in his endless round,
All filled with vague and nameless longings, found
Slow wasting Genius, who from spot to spot
Went idly grazing, through the Realms of Thought.

Ambition cried, Come, wander forth with me;
I like thy face--but cannot stay with thee.
I will, said Genius, for I needs must own
Im getting dull by being much alone.

Your hands are cold--come, warm them at my fire,
Ambition said. Now, what is thy desire?
Quoth Genius, Neath the sod of yonder heather
Lie gems untold. Lets plough them out together.

They bent like strong young oxen to the plough,
This done, Ambition questioned, Whither now?
Well leave these gems for all the world to see!
New sports and pleasures wait for thee and me.

Said Genius, Yonder ghostly ruin stands
A blot and blemish on surrounding lands;
Lets fling sweet, blooming fancies everywhere.
Soon all the world in wonder came to stare.

Come, come! Ambition cried; Pray, do be gone
From this dull place: I would go further on.
There lies, said Genius, up on yonder peak
A Prize, alone, I have not cared to seek.

Up, up they went--as swift, as sure as Time,
They seemed to soar: (in truth they did but climb),
And there in sight of all the world beneath--
Ambition crowned fair Genius with a wreath.

All day they journeyed, swift from place to place;
Ambition led, and Genius joined the chase.
In every realm of fancy, or of thought,
All depths they sounded, and all heights they sought.

Now hand in hand for evermore they stray,
And if they part, or quarrel for a day,
Youll find Ambition, aimless, reckless, wild,
And Genius moping, like an idle child.



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 Chain
  4. At Forty-Eight
  5. Artist and Man


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