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Poem by Ella Wheeler Wilcox


Do you wish the world were better?
   Let me tell you what to do:
Set a watch upon your actions,
   Keep them always straight and true;
Rid your mind of selfish motives;
   Let your thoughts be clean and high.
You can make a little Eden
   Of the sphere you occupy.

Do you wish the world were wiser?
   Well, suppose you make a start,
By accumulating wisdom
   In the scrapbook of your heart:
Do not waste one page on folly;
   Live to learn, and learn to live.
If you want to give men knowledge
   You must get it, ere you give.

Do you wish the world were happy?
   Then remember day by day
Just to scatter seeds of kindness
   As you pass along the way;
For the pleasures of the many
   May be ofttimes traced to one,
As the hand that plants an acorn
   Shelters armies from the sun.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Ella Wheeler Wilcox's other poems:
  1. The Birth of the Opal
  2. The Chain
  3. At Forty-Eight
  4. Artist and Man
  5. As by Fire

Poems of the other poets with the same name:

  • William Allingham Wishing ("Ring-Ting! I wish I were a Primrose")
  • Edwin Arnold Wishing ("A bed sorrow-circled")

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