by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
If you are sighing for a lofty work,
If great ambitions dominate your mind,
Just watch yourself and see you do not shirk
The common little ways of being kind.
If you are dreaming of a future goal,
When, crowned with glory, men shall own your power,
Be careful that you let no struggling soul
Go by unaided in the present hour.
If you are moved to pity for the earth,
And long to aid it, do not look so high,
You pass some poor, dumb creature faint with thirst—
All life is equal in the eternal eye.
If you would help to make the wrong things right,
Begin at home: there lies a lifetime’s toil.
Weed your own garden fair for all men’s sight,
Before you plan to till another’s soil.
God chooses His own leaders in the world,
And from the rest He asks but willing hands.
As mighty mountains into place are hurled,
While patient tides may only shape the sands.
- by Ella Wheeler Wilcox