I asked the rock beside the road
     What joy existence lent.
It answered, "For a million years
     My heart has been content."

I asked the truffle-seeking swine, as rooting by he went,
"What is the keynote of your life?" He grunted out, "Content."

I asked a slave, who toiled and sang, just what his singing meant.
He plodded on his changeless way, and said, "I am content."

I asked a plutocrat of greed, on what his thoughts were bent.
He chinked the silver in his purse, and said, "I am content."

I asked the mighty forest tree from whence its force was sent.
Its thousand branches spoke as one, and said, "From discontent."

I asked the message speeding on, by what great law was rent
God's secret from the waves of space. It said, "From discontent."

I asked the marble, where the works of God and man were blent,
What brought the statue from the block. It answered "Discontent."

I asked an Angel, looking down on earth with gaze intent,
How man should rise to larger growth. Quoth he, "Through discontent."

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

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