The Goal

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by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

All roads that lead to God are good;
   What matters it, your faith, or mine;
   Both centre at the goal divine
Of love’s eternal Brotherhood.

The kindly life in house or street;
   The life of prayer, and mystic rite;
   The student’s search for truth and light;
These paths at one great junction meet.

Before the oldest book was writ,
   Full many a prehistoric soul
   Arrived at this unchanging goal,
Through changeless love, that led to it.

What matters that one found his Christ
   In rising sun, or burning fire;
   If faith within him did not tire,
His longing for the truth sufficed.

Before our ‘Christian’ hell was brought
   To edify a modern world,
   Full many a hate-filled soul was hurled
In lakes of fire by its own thought.

A thousand creeds have come and gone;
   But what is that to you or me?
   Creeds are but branches of a tree,
The root of love lives on and on.

Though branch by branch proves withered wood,
   The root is warm with precious wine;
   Then keep your faith, and leave me mine;
All roads that lead to God are good.

from Poems of Experience by Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1917)

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