I set out for the Land of Content,
    By the gay crowded pleasure-highway,
With laughter, and jesting, I went
    With the mirth-loving throng for a day;
    Then I knew I had wandered astray,
For I met returned pilgrims, belated,
Who said, "We are weary and sated,
But we found not the Land of Content."

I turned to the steep path of fame.
    I said, "It is over yon height---
This land with the beautiful name---
    Ambition will lend me its light."
    But I passed in my journey ere night,
For the way grew so lonely and troubled;
I said---my anxiety doubled---
"This is not the road to Content."

Then I joined the great rabble and throng
    That frequents the moneyed world's mart;
But the greed, and the grasping and wrong,
    Left me only one wish---to depart.
    And sickened, and saddened at heart,
I hurried away from the gateway,
For my soul and my spirit said straightway,
"This is not the road to Content."

Then weary in body and brain,
    An overgrown path I detected,
And I said, "I will hide with my pain
    In this by-way, unused and neglected."
    Lo! it led to the realm God selected
To crown with His best gifts of beauty,
And through the great pathway of duty
I came to the Land of Content.

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

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