The Spur

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by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

   I asked the rock beside the road what joy existence lent.
   It answered, ‘For a million years my heart has been content.’

   I asked the truffle-seeking swine, as rooting by he went,
   ‘What is the keynote of your life?’ He grunted out, ‘Content.’

   I asked a slave, who toiled and sung, just what his singing meant.
   He plodded on his changeless way, and said, ‘I am content.’

   I asked a plutocrat of greed, on what his thoughts were bent.
   He chinked the silver in his purse, and said, ‘I am content.’

   I asked the mighty forest tree from whence its force was sent.
   Its thousand branches spoke as one, and said, ‘From discontent.’

   I asked the message speeding on, by what great law was rent
   God’s secret from the waves of space. It said, ‘From discontent.’

   I asked the marble, where the works of God and man were blent,
   What brought the statue from the block. It answered, ‘Discontent.’

   I asked an Angel, looking down on earth with gaze intent,
   How man should rise to larger growth. Quoth he, ‘Through discontent.’


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