Methinks there is no greater work in life
Than making beauty. Can the mind conceive
    One little corner in celestial realms
Unbeautiful, or dull or commonplace?
Or picture ugly angels, illy clad?
Beauty and splendour, opulence and joy,
Are attributes of God and His domain,
And so are worth and virtue. But why preach
Of virtue only to the sons of men,
Ignoring beauty, till they think it sin?
Why, if each dweller on this little globe
Could know the sacred meaning of that word
And understand its deep significance,
Men's thoughts would form in beauty, till their dreams
Of heaven would find expression in their lives,
However humble; they themselves would grow
Godlike, befitting such a fair estate.
Let us be done with what is only good,
Demanding here and now the beautiful;
Lest, with the mind and eye on earth untrained,
We shall be ill at ease when heaven is gained.

Poems of Optimism. By Ella Wheeler Wilcox.
London: Gay & Hancock, 1915.

Back to Poem Index