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.'
Poems of Progress and New Thought Pastels by Ella Wheeler Wilcox.
London: Gay & Hancock, 1911.
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