One by one

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by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Little by little and one by one,
   Out of the ether, were worlds created;
Star and planet and sea and sun,
   All in the nebulous Nothing waited
Till the Nameless One Who has many a name
Called them to being and forth they came.

All things mighty and all things small,
   Stone and flower and sentient being,
Each is an answer to that one call,
   A part of Himself that His will is freeing -
Freeing to go on the long, long way
That winds back home at the end of the day.

Little by little does mortal man
   Build his castles for joy and glory,
And one by one time shatters each plan
   And lowers his palaces, story by story-
Story by story, till earth is just
A row of graves in the lowly dust.

One by one, whatever was called,
   Must be called back to the primal Centre.
Let no soul tremble or be appalled,
   For the heart of the Maker is where we enter -
Is where we enter to gain new force
Before we are sent on another course.

And one by one, as He calls us back,
   We shall find the souls that we loved with passion,
In the great way-stations along the track,
   And clasp them again in the old, sweet fashion -
In the old, sweet fashion when earth we trod -
And journey along with them up to God.

from Hello, Boys! by Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1919)

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