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Poem by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
When from the prison of its body free, My soul shall soar, before it goes to Thee, Thou great Creator, give it power to know The language of all sad, dumb things below. And let me dwell a season still on earth Before I rise to some diviner birth: Invisible to men, yet seen and heard, And understood by sorrowing beast and bird-- Invisible to men, yet always near, To whisper counsel in the human ear: And with a spell to stay the hunter's hand And stir his heart to know and understand; To plant within the dull or thoughtless mind The great religious impulse to be kind. Before I prune my spirit wings and rise To seek my loved ones in their paradise, Yea! even before I hasten on to see That lost child's face, so like a dream to me, I would be given this intermediate role, And carry comfort to each poor, dumb soul: And bridge man's gulf of cruelty and sin By understanding of his lower kin. 'Twixt weary driver and the straining steed On wings of mercy would my spirit speed. And each should know, before his journey's end, That in the other dwelt a loving friend. From zoo and jungle, and from cage and stall, I would translate each inarticulate call, Each pleading look, each frenzied act and cry, And tell the story to each passer-by; And of a spirit's privilege possessed, Pursue indifference to its couch of rest, And whisper in its ear until in awe It woke and knew God's all-embracing law Of Universal Life---the One in All. . . . . . Lord, let this mission to my lot befall.
Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Ella Wheeler Wilcox's other poems:
English Poetry. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org