The will to evil and the will to Good
Are both within thee; which wilt thou employ?
Thou knowest what is right and what is wrong;
Which wilt thou love and foster? which destroy?
Thou art the chooser of thy thoughts and deeds;
Thou art the maker of thine inward state;
The power is thine to be what thou wilt be;
Thou buildest Truth and Love, or lies and hate.
If thou dost choose the evil, loving self,
Thy cries and prayers for good shall all be vain;
Thy thought and act bringeth thee good or ill;
Deep in thy heart thou makest joy and pain.
As thou pursuest Good, striving to make
Evil depart, thou shalt rejoice and say,—
"Lo! Light and Love and Peace attend on me;
Truth fadeth not, and Good abounds alway."
Choose as thou wilt thy thoughts and words and deeds,
And as thou choosest so shall be thy life;
The will to Good shall bring thee Joy and Peace;
The will to evil, wretchedness and strife.
This poem is also published in Poems of Peace.
—Sir H. Holland
—A. B. Romney
Doth pass to better, best.
—The Light of Asia
More from James Allen
James Allen was a little-known philosophical writer and poet. He is best recognized for his book, As a Man Thinketh. Allen wrote about complex subjects such as faith, destiny, love, patience, and religion but had the unique ability of explaining these subjects clearly and in a way that is easy to understand. He often wrote about cause and effect, sowing and reaping, as well as overcoming sadness, sorrow, and grief. For more information on the life of James Allen, click here.