Oh, poor, sick world

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by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Lord of all the Universe, when I think of YOU,
Flinging stars out into space, moving suns and tides;
Then this little mortal mind gets the larger view,
And the carping self of me runs away and hides.

Then I see all shadowed paths leading out to Light;
See the false things fade away, leaving but the True;
See the wrong things slay themselves, leaving only Right;
When this little mortal mind gets the larger view.

Cavillings at this and that, censure, doubt and fear,
Fly, as fly before the dawn, insects of the night;
Life and Death are understood; everything seems clear,
All the wrong things slay themselves, leaving only Right.

The World has walked with fever in its veins
For many and many a day. Oh, poor, sick world!
Not knowing all its dreams of greed and gain,
Of selfish conquest and possession, were
Disordered visions of a brain diseased.

Now the World’s malady is at its height
And there is foul contagion in its breath.
It raves of death and slaughter; and the stars
Shake with reverberations of its cries,
And the sad seas are troubled and disturbed.
So must it rave - this sick and suffering world -
Until the old secretions in its blood
Are emptied out and purged away by war;
And the deep seated cankers of the mind
Begin the healing process. Then a calm
Shall come upon the earth; and that loved word
PEACE, shall be understood from shore to shore.

Shriek on, mad world. The great Physician sits
Serenely conscious of the coming change,
Nor seeks to check the fever; it must run
Until its course is finished. He can wait.

In his vast Solar Systems he has seen
So many other worlds as sick as this
He feels but pity for his ailing charge,
Not blame or anger. And he knows the hour
Will surely dawn when that sick child shall wake
Free from all frenzied fancies, and shall turn
Clear-seeing eyes upon the face of God.
Then shall begin the new millennium.

Lord of all the Universe, when I think of YOU,
Then this little mortal mind gets the larger view;
Then I see all shadowed paths leading into Light,
Where the wrong things slay themselves, leaving only Right.

Oh, poor, sick world!

 
from Poems of Optimism by Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1919)

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