More from and about
Ella Wheeler Wilcox
(biographical info at bottom of page)

  

To sin by silence, when they should protest, makes cowards of people.

   

Laugh, and the world laughs with you;
Weep, and you weep alone.
For the sad old earth must borrow its mirth,
But has trouble enough of its own.

      
There's one sad truth in life I've found
While journeying east and west--
The only folks we really wound
Are those we love the best.
We flatter those we scarcely know,
We please the fleeting guest,
And deal full many a thoughtless blow
To those who love us best.
  
One ship drives east and another drives west
With the selfsame winds that blow.
'Tis the set of the sails
And not the gales
Which tells us the way to go.

Like the winds of the seas are the ways of fate,
As we voyage along through the life:
'Tis the set of a soul
That decides its goal,
And not the calm or the strife.
   

For this is wisdom--to love and live
To take what fate or the Gods may give,
To ask no question, to make no prayer,
To kiss the lips and caress the hair,
Speed passion's ebb as we greet its flow,
To have and to hold, and, in time--let go.

     

Always continue the climb. It is possible for you to do whatever
you choose, if you first get to know who you are and are willing
to work with a power that is greater than ourselves to do it.

   

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The person who radiates good cheer, who makes life happier wherever
he or she meets it, is always a person of vision and faith.

   

I must do as you do? Your 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.

   

There is no chance, no destiny, no fate, that can circumvent or
hinder or control the firm resolve of a determined soul.

   
  
Never hesitate to give aid where you feel there is sore and pressing
need, for fear you will be left in want yourself.  You will not be.  This
does not mean that indiscriminate charity is commendable.  It does
not mean that you should lend money to everyone who asks, or lift
and carry the burdens of everyone who is ready to lean upon you.
It is as wrong to encourage the man addicted to the vice of borrowing,
as the one with the vice of alcohol or drugs.

The Heart of the New Thought
   

We must train the mind to reject the brood of despondent, resentful,
fearful and prejudiced thoughts which approach it, and to invite and
entertain cheerful, broad and wholesome thoughts instead, just as we
overcome false tones and cultivate musical ones in educating the voice
for singing.  When we once realize that by driving away pessimistic,
angry and bitter thoughts we drive away sickness and misfortune to
a great extent, and that by seeking the kinder and happier frame of mind
we seek at the same time success and health and good luck, we will
find a new impetus in the control of our mental forces.

The Heart of the New Thought

    
Ella Wheeler was born in 1850 on a farm in Johnstown, Wisconsin, the youngest of four children. The family soon moved north of Madison. She started writing poetry at a very early age, and was well known as a poet in her own state by the time she graduated from high school.

Her most famous poem, "The Way Of The World," was first published in the February 25, 1883 issue of The New York Sun. The inspiration for the poem came as she was travelling to attend the Governor's inaugural ball in Madison, Wisconsin. On her way to the celebration, there was a young woman dressed in black sitting across the aisle from her. The woman was crying. Miss Wheeler sat next to her and sought to comfort her for the rest of the journey. When they arrived, the poet was so depressed that she could barely attend the scheduled festivities. As she looked at her own radiant face in the mirror, she suddenly recalled the sorrowful widow. It was at that moment that she wrote the opening lines of "The Way Of The World":
Laugh, and the world laughs with you;
Weep, and you weep alone.
For the sad old earth must borrow its mirth
But has trouble enough of its own

She sent the poem to the Sun and received $5 for her effort. It was collected in the book Poems of Passion shortly after in May 1883.

In 1884, she married Robert Wilcox of Meriden, Connecticut, where the couple lived before moving to New York City and then to Granite Bay in the Short Beach section of Branford, Connecticut. The two homes they built on Long Island Sound, along with several cottages, became known as Bungalow Court, and they would hold gatherings there of literary and artistic friends. They had one child, a son, who died shortly after birth. Not long after their marriage, they both became interested in theosophy, new thought, and spiritualism.

  

  

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