I must do as you do? Your own way I own
    Is a very good way. And still,
There are sometimes two straight roads to a town,
    One over, one under the hill.

You are treading the safe and the well-worn way
    That the prudent choose each time;
And you think me reckless and rash to-day
    Because I prefer to climb.

Your path is the right one, and so is mine.
    We are not like peas in a pod,
Compelled to lie in a certain line,
    Or else be scattered abroad.

'Twere a dull old world, methinks, my friend,
    If we all went just one way;
Yet our paths will meet no doubt at the end,
    Though they lead apart to-day.

You like the shade, and I like the sun;
    You like an even pace,
I like to mix with the crowd and run,
    And then rest after the race.

I like danger, and storm and strife,
    You like a peaceful time;
I like the passion and surge of life,
    You like its gentle rhyme,

You like buttercups, dewy sweet,
    And crocuses, framed in snow;
I like roses, born of the heat,
    And the red carnation's glow.

I must live my life, not yours, my friend,
    For so it was written down;
We must follow our given paths to the end---
    But I trust we shall meet---in town.

Poetical works of Ella Wheeler Wilcox. by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Edinburgh : W. P. Nimmo, Hay, & Mitchell, 1917.

Back to Poem Index