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.
ELLA WHEELER WILCOX
The Evening Bulletin [Philadelphia] 1 Jun. 1901: 12.
Courtesy of John M. Freiermuth.
|Back to Poem Index|