Whatever your work and whatever its worth,
No matter how strong or clever,
Some one will sneer if you pause to hear
And scoff at your best endeavor.
For the target art has a broad expanse,
And wherever you chance to hit it,
Though close be your aim to the bullseye fame,
There are those who will never admit it.
Though the house applauds while the artist plays
And a smiling world adores him,
Somebody is there with an ennuied air
To say that the acting bores him.
For the tower of art has a lofty spire,
With many a stair and landing,
And those who climb seem small oft time
To one at the bottom standing.
So work along in your chosen niche
With a steady purpose to nerve you;
Let nothing men say who pass your way
Relax your courage or swerve you.
The idle will flock by the Temple of Art
For just the pleasure of gazing,
But climb to the top and do not stop
Though they may not all be praising.
ELLA WHEELER WILCOX.
The Evening Bulletin [Philadelphia] 6/5/1901: 7.
Courtesy of John M. Freiermuth.
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