Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Nov. 5, 1850 - Oct. 30, 1919

 

Our Lives

by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Our lives are songs. God writes the words,
And we set them to music at pleasure;
And the song grows glad, or sweet, or sad,
As we choose to fashion the measure.

We must write the music, whatever the song,
Whatever its rhyme, or metre;
And if it is sad, we can make it glad,
Or if sweet, we can make it sweeter.

One has a song that is free and strong;
But the music he writes is minor;
And the sad, sad strain is replete with pain,
And the singer becomes a repiner.

And he thinks God gave him a dirge-like lay,
Nor knows that the words are cheery;
And the song seems lonely and solemn -- only
Because the music is dreary.

And the song of another has through the words
An under current of sadness;
But he sets it to music of ringing chords,
And makes it a pean of gladness.

So whether our songs are sad or not,
We can give the world more pleasure,
And better ourselves, by setting the words
To a glad, triumphant measure.

1872

Source:

Shells
Copyright 1873
Hauser & Storey, Milwaukee
 
Link To This Page