You will be what you will to be;
Let failure find its false content
In that poor word, "environment,"
But spirit scorns it, and is free.
It masters time, it conquers space,
It cowes that boastful trickster, Chance,
And bids the tyrant Circumstance
Uncrown, and fill a servant’s place.
The human Will, that force unseen,
The offspring of a deathless Soul,
Can hew a way to any goal,
Though walls of granite intervene.
Be not impatient in delay,
But wait as one who understands;
When spirit rises and commands,
The gods are ready to obey.
Note: This poem is actually titled "Will".
The final verse of this poem is missing in this selection as it was originally printed:
The river seeking for the sea
Confronts the dam and precipice,
Yet knows it cannot fail or miss;
You will be what you will to be!
More Articles by This Author Ella Wheeler Wilcox
- Author and poet
- Born November 5th, 1850 in Johnstown, Wisconsin and died October 30th, 1919
- Famous line in poetry: "Laugh, and the world laughs with you; Weep, and you weep alone."