Ella Wheeler Wilcox (5 November 1850 - 30 October 1919 / Johnstown Center / Rock County / Wisconsin)
The Kingdom of Love
In the dawn of the day, when the sea and the earth
Reflected the sunrise above,
I set forth, with a heart full of courage and mirth,
To seek for the Kingdom of Love.
I asked of a Poet I met on the way,
Which cross-road would lead me aright,
And he said: "Follow me, and ere long you will see
Its glistening turrets of Light."
And soon in the distance a city shone fair;
"Look yonder," he said, "there it gleams!"
But alas! for the hopes that were doomed to despair,
It was only the Kingdom of Dreams.
Then the next man I asked was a gay cavalier,
And he said: "Follow me, follow me."
And with laughter and song we went speeding along
By the shores of life's beautiful sea,
Till we came to a valley more tropical far
Than the wonderful Vale of Cashmere,
And I saw from a bower a face like a flower
Smile out on the gay cavalier,
And he said: "We have come to humanity's goal---
Here love and delight are intense."
But alas! and alas! for the hope of my soul---
It was only the Kingdom of Sense.
As I journeyed more slowly, I met on the road
A coach with retainers behind,
And they said: "Follow us, for our lady's abode
Belongs in the realm you would find."
'Twas a grand dame of fashion, a newly-wed bride;
I followed, encouraged and bold.
But my hope died away, like the last gleams of day,
For we came to the Kingdom of Gold.
At the door of a cottage I asked a fair maid.
"I have heard of that Realm," she replied,
"But my feet never roam from the Kingdom of Home,
So I know not the way," and she sighed.
I looked on the cottage, how restful it seemed!
And the maid was as fair as a dove.
Great light glorified my soul as I cried,
"Why, home is the Kingdom of Love!"
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