THE TECHNIQUE OF IMMORTALITY

There hangs a picture on my wall;
Three leafless trees; dead woods beyond;
Brown grasses and a marshy pond;
And over all
An amber sunset of late fall.

Too frail the artist heart to cope
With all the stern demands of fame.
He passed before he won a name,
Or gained his hope,
To realms where dreams have larger scope.

Yet in the modest little square
Of canvas, that I daily see,
He left a legacy to me
Of something rare;
For more than what is painted there.

For tree and grass and sunset sky
Hold subtler qualities than art.
It is the painter's pulsing heart
That seems to cry,
"I loved these things--they cannot die."

And so they live; to stir and move
Each gazer's soul; because they speak
Of something mightier than technique.
They live to prove
The immortality of love.

They speak this message day by day;
"Love, love your work, or small or great;
Love, love, and leave the rest to fate.
For love will stay
When all things else have passed away."

World Voices by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
New York : Hearst's International Library Company 1916.


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