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by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

The greatest words are always solitaires,
   Set singly in one syllable; like birth,
   Life, love, hope, peace. I sing the worth
Of that dear word toward which the whole world fares -
      I sing of home.

To make a home, we should take all of love
   And much of labour, patience, and keen joy;
   Then mix the elements of earth’s alloy
With finer things drawn from the realms above,
      The spirit home.

There should be music, melody and song;
   Beauty in every spot; an open door
   And generous sharing of the pleasure store
With fellow-pilgrims as they pass along,
      Seeking for home.

Make ample room for silent friends - the books,
   That give so much and only ask for space.
   Nor let Utility crowd out the vase
Which has no use save gracing by its looks
      The precious home.

To narrow bounds let mirrors lend their aid
   And multiply each gracious touch of art;
   And let the casual stranger feel the part -
The great creative part - that love has played
      Within the home.

Here bring your best in thought and word and deed,
   Your sweetest acts, your highest self-control;
   Nor save them for some later hour and goal.
Here is the place, and now the time of need,
      Here in your home.

from Poems of Optimism by Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1919)

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