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Seeking for Happiness
by
Ella Wheeler Wilcox


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Seeking for happiness we must go slowly;
The road leads not down avenues of haste;
But often gently winds through by ways lowly,
Whose hidden pleasures are serene and chaste.
Seeking for happiness we must take heed
Of simple joys that are not found in speed.


Eager for noon-time's large effulgent splendour,
Too oft we miss the beauty of the dawn,
Which tiptoes by us, evanescent, tender,
Its pure delights unrecognised till gone.
Seeking for happiness we needs must care
For all the little things that make life fair.


Dreaming of future pleasures and achievements
We must not let today starve at our door;
Nor wait till after losses and bereavements
Before we count the riches in our store.
Seeking for happiness we must prize this---
Not what will be, or was, but that which is.


In simple pathways hand in hand with duty
(With faith and love, too, ever at her side),
May happiness be met in all her beauty
The while we search for her both far and wide.
Seeking for happiness we find the way
Doing the things we ought to do each day.

 

This poem is in the public domain.

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Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1850-1919) was a popular and prolific poet. Published and lauded before she even graduated from high school, Ella preferred to write happy, upbeat poetry and was much beloved for it. More than a dozen of her poems are included in the book, Best Loved Poems of the American People (Doubleday, 2008). The familiar saying, "Laugh and the world laughs with you, weep, and you weep alone. . ." comes from her best-known poem, "Solitude." A morally strong and spiritual person, Ella believed that her purpose on earth was to practice kindness and service. Read more about her here.

 

 


New comments are closed for now.
69Dorcas:
Lovely. How poignant. It fills my heart.
Posted 09/01/2012 09:07 PM
ghctenmile@earthlink.net:
I guess Ella Wheeler Wilcox's poetry is not fashionable today. But I like her. I like her directions to us, as her fellow-travelers: "We must not let today starve at our door" and "seeking for happiness we find the way/doing things we ought to do each day" Thanks, Jayne. Thanks, Ella.
Posted 09/01/2012 06:19 PM
CamilleBalla:
A keeper. Thanks for the link...I hope to read more of her poetry.
Posted 09/01/2012 09:07 AM
Larry Schug:
Gotta get me some of that "effulgent splendour"
Posted 09/01/2012 07:42 AM
Larry Schug:
Gotta get me some of that "effulgent splendour"
Posted 09/01/2012 07:41 AM


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