The Empty Bowl

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The Empty Bowl
by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
From Poems of Experience (1917)


I held the golden vessel of my soul
And prayed that God would fill it from on high.
Day after day the importuning cry
Grew stronger - grew, a heaven-accusing dole
Because no sacred waters laved my bowl.
'So full the fountain, Lord, wouldst Thou deny
The little needed for a soul’s supply?
I ask but this small portion of Thy whole.'
Then from the vast invisible Somewhere,
A voice, as one love-authorised by Him,
Spake, and the tumult of my heart was stilled.
'Who wants the waters must the bowl prepare;
Pour out the self, that chokes it to the brim,
But emptied vessels, from the source are filled.'

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