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A Morning Prayer
Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Let me to-day do something that shall take
 A little sadness from the world’s vast store,
And may I be so favoured as to make
 Of joy’s too scanty sum a little more.

Let me not hurt, by any selfish deed
 Or thoughtless word, the heart of foe or friend;
Nor would I pass, unseeing, worthy need,
 Or sin by silence when I should defend.

However meagre be my worldly wealth,
 Let me give something that shall aid my kind—
A word of courage, or a thought of health,
 Dropped as I pass for troubled hearts to find.

Let me to-night look back across the span
 'Twixt dawn and dark, and to my conscience say—
Because of some good act to beast or man—
 “The world is better that I lived today.”

This poem is in the public domain.

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.

Post New Comment:
How can you miss with this one? Very up-lifting!
Posted 01/24/2011 08:24 AM

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