In the dawn of the day, when the sea and the earth
    Reflected the sunrise above,
I set forth, with a heart full of courage and mirth
    To seek for the Kingdom of Love.
I asked of a Poet I met on the way,
    Which cross-road would lead me aright.
And he said: "Follow me, and ere long you shall see
    Its glistening turrets of Light."

And soon in the distance a city shone fair;
    "Look yonder," he said; "there it gleams!"
But alas! for the hopes that were doomed to despair,
    It was only the Kingdom of Dreams.
Then the next man I asked was a gay cavalier,
    And he said: "Follow me, follow me,"
And with laughter and song we went speeding along
    By the shores of life's beautiful sea.

Till we came to a valley more tropical far,
    Than the wonderful Vale of Cashmere.
And I saw from a bower a face like a flower,
    Smile out on the gay cavalier.
And he said: "We have come to humanity's goal--
    Here love and delight are intense."
But alas! and alas ! for the hope of my soul--
    It was only the kingdom of Sense--

As I journeyed more slowly, I met on the road
    A coach with retainers behind,
And they said: "Follow us, for our lady's abode
    Belongs in the realm you would find."
'Twas a grand dame of fashion, a newly-wed bride;
    I followed, encouraged and bold.
But my hope died away, like the last gleams of day,
    For we came to the Kingdom of Gold.

At the door of a cottage I asked a fair maid.
    "I have heard of that Realm," she replied,
"But my feet never roam from the Kingdom of Home,
    So I know not the way," and she sighed.
I looked on the cottage, how restful it seemed!
    And the maid was as fair as a dove.
Great light glorified my soul as I cried,
    "Why home is the Kingdom of Love!"

Poems of Love by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Chicago: M.A.Donohue, 1905.

Back to Poem Index