“Advice,” a poem by 19th-Century American poet, Ella Wheeler Cox

“ADVICE” by Ella Wheeler Cox

I must do as you do? Your own way I own
Is a very good way. And still,
There are sometimes two straight roads to a town,
One over, one under the hill.You are treading the safe and the well-worn way
That the prudent choose each time;
And you think me reckless and rash to-day
Because I prefer to climb.

Your path is the right one, and so is mine.
We are not like peas in a pod,
Compelled to lie in a certain line,
Or else be scattered abroad.

‘Twere a dull old world, methinks, my friend,
If we all went just one way;
Yet our paths will meet no doubt at the end,
Though they lead apart to-day.

You like the shade, and I like the sun;
You like an even pace,
I like to mix with the crowd and run,
And then rest after the race.

I like danger, and storm and strife,
You like a peaceful time;
I like the passion and surge of life,
You like its gentle rhyme,

You like buttercups, dewy sweet,
And crocuses, framed in snow;
I like roses, born of the heat,
And the red carnation’s glow.

I must live my life, not yours, my friend,
For so it was written down;
We must follow our given paths to the end—
But I trust we shall meet—in town.

Poetical works of Ella Wheeler Wilcox. by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Edinburgh : W. P. Nimmo, Hay, & Mitchell, 1917.

One Response



    I may not reach the heights I seek,
    My untried strength may fail me ;
    Or, half-way up the mountain peak
    Fierce tempests may assail me.
    But though that place I never gain,
    Herein lies comfort for my pain–
    I will be worthy of it.
    Despite my earnest labor;
    I may not triumph in success,
    I may not grasp results that bless
    The effort of my neighbor
    But though my goal I never see
    This thought shall always dwell with me–
    I will be worthy of it.
    The golden glory of Love’s light
    May never fall on my way ;
    My path may always lead through night,
    Like some deserted by-way
    But though life’s dearest joy I miss
    There lies a nameless strength in this–
    I will be worthy of it.

    Pittsburg Sunday Press.

    The Star of Zion [Charlotte, N.C.] 28 Feb. 1901: 7.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: