Let Labor boldly walk abroad
    And take its place with kings,
For who has labored more than God,
    The maker of all things?

The time is come, aye, even now it is,
To rank that parable in Genesis
Of God's great curse of labor placed on man,
With other fairy tales. Why, He began
All work Himself! He was so full of force
He flung the solar systems on their course
And builded worlds on worlds ; and, not content,
He labors still: when mighty suns are spent
He forges on His white-hot anvilspace
New stars to tell His glory, and His grace.

Who most achieves is most like God, I hold;
The idler is the black sheep in the fold.
Not for the hardened toiler with the hoe
My tears of sorrow and compassion flow.
Though he be dull, unlettered and not fair
To look upon; tho' he is bowed with care,
Yet in his heart if dear love fold its wings
He stands a monarch over unloved kings.
One sorrow only in Gods world has birth
To live unloving and unloved on earth;
One joy alone makes life a part of heaven
The joy of happy love received and given.

Down through the chaos of our human laws,
Love shines supreme, the great Eternal Cause.
God loved so much His thoughts burst into flame,
And from that sacred source Creation came.
The heart which feels this holy light within
Finds God and man and beast and bird its kin.
All class distinctions fade and disappear
Death is new life, and heaven he sees a-near.
Brother is he to "ox" and "seraphim,"
"Slave to the wheel," perhaps, yet kings to him,
And millionaires seem paupers, if from them
Life has withheld its luminous great gem.
Or if his badge be sceptre, hoe or hod,
That man is king who knows that love is God.

                       ELLA WHEELER WILCOX.

The Evening Bulletin [Philadelphia] 11 Sept. 1905: 7.

Courtesy of John M. Freiermuth.

Back to Poem Index