Thy Ship

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by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

   Hadst thou a ship, in whose vast hold lay stored
   The priceless riches of all climes and lands,
   Say, wouldst thou let it float upon the seas
   Unpiloted, of fickle winds the sport,
   And of wild waves and hidden rocks the prey?

   Thine is that ship; and in its depths concealed
   Lies all the wealth of this vast universe—
   Yea, lies some part of God’s omnipotence,
   The legacy divine of every soul.
   Thy will, O man, thy will is that great ship,
   And yet behold it drifting here and there—
   One moment lying motionless in port,
   Then on high seas by sudden impulse flung,
   Then drying on the sands, and yet again
   Sent forth on idle quests to no-man’s land
   To carry nothing and to nothing bring;
   Till, worn and fretted by the aimless strife
   And buffeted by vacillating winds,
   It founders on a rock, or springs a leak,
   With all its unused treasures in the hold.

   Go save thy ship, thou sluggard; take the wheel
   And steer to knowledge, glory, and success.
   Great mariners have made the pathway plain
   For thee to follow; hold thou to the course
   Of Concentration Channel, and all things
   Shall come in answer to thy swerveless wish
   As comes the needle to the magnet’s call,
   Or sunlight to the prisoned blade of grass
   That yearns all winter for the kiss of spring.

by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

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