Earthday – Wishing by Ellen Wheeler Wilcox

“...the care of the earth is our most ancient and most worthy and, after all, our most pleasing responsibility. To cherish what remains of it, and to foster its renewal, is our only legitimate hope.”

Wendell Berry

In honor of EARTHDAY, I am sharing a poem by Ella Wheeler Wilcox which I found in one of my mom’s old prayer books.  I fell in love with this poem over 25 years ago, and never did any research on the author.  So here is an excerpt from WIKI.

“Ella Wheeler Wilcox (November 5, 1850 – October 30, 1919) was an American author and poet. Her best-known work was Poems of Passion. Her most enduring work was ” Solitude“, which contains the lines: “Laugh, and the world laughs with you; Weep, and you weep alone”. Her autobiography, The Worlds and I, was published in 1918, a year before her death….”  continue here.


 Do you wish the world were better?

Let me tell you what to do.

Set a watch upon your actions,

Keep them always strait and true.

Rid your mind of selfish motives,

Let your thought be clean and high.

You can make a little Eden

Of the sphere you occupy.


Do you wish the world were wiser?

Well, suppose you make a start,

By accumulating wisdom

In the scrap book of your heart.


Do not waste one page on folly;

Live to learn, and learn to live.

If you want to give men knowledge,

You must get it ere you give.


Do you wish the world were happy?

Then remember day by day.

Just to scatter seeds of kindness.

As you pass along the way.

For the pleasure of the many,

May be ofttimes traced to one,

As the hand that plants the acorn

Shelters armies from the sun.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox From: Poems of Power, 1901

Lets take care of our earth!  Happy Earth Day!


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  1. Beautiful poem Kim. I especially love the Wendell Berry quote you closed with. I’ve had my grumpy pants on about Earth Day this year…thanks for helping to shift my outlook!

  2. Hello Kim…so lovely to connect with you!
    Thank you for linking up with my Stairway to Self-Esteem blog post.
    I’m so glad you did because it encouraged me to visit yours…this poem is amazing…I posted it to Twitter and Facebook. And I love your blog and what you wrote. 🙂 I am all about sharing positively and pass along a smile, a kind word and a helping hand. 🙂

  3. Hi Kim, really beautiful poem.. thanks for sharing! I have a new post up

  4. Thank you for sharing your poem with us and happy to hear you enjoyed my blog (published two for Earth Day)..Louise

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