Monday, February 11, 2013

Ella Wheeler Wilcox: "Seeking for Happiness"

Seeking for happiness we must go slowly;
The road leads not down avenues of haste;
But often gently winds through by ways lowly,
Whose hidden pleasures are serene and chaste.
Seeking for happiness we must take heed
Of simple joys that are not found in speed.

Eager for noon-time's large effulgent splendour,
Too oft we miss the beauty of the dawn,
Which tiptoes by us, evanescent, tender,
Its pure delights unrecognised till gone.
Seeking for happiness we needs must care
For all the little things that make life fair.

Dreaming of future pleasures and achievements
We must not let today starve at our door;
Nor wait till after losses and bereavements
Before we count the riches in our store.
Seeking for happiness we must prize this—
Not what will be, or was, but that which is.

In simple pathways hand in hand with duty
(With faith and love, too, ever at her side),
May happiness be met in all her beauty
The while we search for her both far and wide.
Seeking for happiness we find the way
Doing the things we ought to do each day.

"Seeking for Happiness" by Ella Wheeler Wilcox, from Poems of Purpose. © Gay & Hancock, 1919.

Photography credit: Detail from black-and-white image by unknown photographer.


  1. Found the source, "Poems of Purpose "a 1916 collection of her poetry:, and her bio, from which I learned she wrote the poem Solitude, which contains the lines "Laugh, and the world laughs with you; weep, and you weep alone."

    1. Thanks so much for your detective work. I'll update the post! Deep peace.


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