The Greater Love

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by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

   Hear thou my prayer, great God of opulence;
   Give me no blessings, save as recompense
   For blessings which I lovingly bestow
   On needy stranger or on suffering foe.
   If Wealth, by chance, should on my path appear,
   Let Wisdom and Benevolence stand near,
   And Charity within my portal wait,
   To guard me from acquaintance intimate.

   Yet in this intricate great art of living
   Guide me away from misdirected giving,
   And show me how to spur the laggard soul
   To strive alone once more to gain the goal.

   Repay my worldly efforts to attain
   Only as I develop heart and brain;
   Nor brand me with the ‘Dollar Sign’ above
   A bosom void of sympathy and love.

   If on the carrying winds my name be blown
   To any land or time beyond my own,
   Let it not be as one who gained the day
   By crowding others from the chosen way;
   Rather as one who missed the highest place
   Pausing to cheer spent runners in the race.
   To do—to have—is lesser than to BE:
   The greater boon I ask, dear God, from Thee.


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