LOVE thyself last. Look near, behold thy duty
    To those who walk beside thee down life's road.
Make glad their days by little acts of beauty,
    And help them bear the burden of earth's load.

Love thyself last. Look far and find the stranger
    Who staggers 'neath his sin and his despair;
Go, lend a hand, and lead him out of danger,
    To hights where he may see the world is fair.

Love thyself last. The vastnesses above thee
    Are filled with spirit forces, strong and pure;
And fervently these faithful friends shall love thee--
    Keep thou thy watch o'er others, and endure.

Love thyself last. And oh, such joy shall thrill thee
    As never yet to selfish souls was given.
Whate'er thy lot, a perfect peace will fill thee,
    And earth shall seem the anteroom of Heaven.

Love thyself last, and thou shall grow in spirit
    To see, to hear, to know, and understand.
The message of the stars, lo, thou shall hear it,
    And all God's joys shall be at thy command.

                 ELLA WHEELER WILCOX.

The Evening Bulletin [Philadelphia] 14 Sept. 1905: 7.

Courtesy of John M. Freiermuth.

Back to Poem Index