Ella Wheeler Wilcox

(5 November 1850 - 30 October 1919 / Johnstown Center / Rock County / Wisconsin)

"It Might Have Been"

Poem by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

We will be what we could be. Do not say,
"It might have been, had not this, or that, or this."
No fate can keep us from the chosen way;
He only might who is.

We will do what we could do. Do not dream
Chance leaves a hero, all uncrowned to grieve.
I hold, all men are greatly what they seem;
He does, who could achieve.

We will climb where we could climb. Tell me not
Of adverse storms that kept thee from the height.
What eagle ever missed the peak he sought?
He always climbs who might.

I do not like the phrase "It might have been!"
It lacks force, and life's best truths perverts:
For I believe we have, and reach, and win,
Whatever our deserts.


Comments about "It Might Have Been" by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

  • Mahtab BangaleeMahtab Bangalee (10/5/2019 11:20:00 PM)

    I do not like the phrase " It might have been! "
    It lacks force, and life's best truths perverts: ../// great writings of life and it's alive power(Report)Reply

    3 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Sylvia Frances ChanSylvia Frances Chan (10/5/2019 10:33:00 PM)

    CONGRATULATIONS being chosen as The Classic Poem Of The Day. Hurray!
    The words are excellently captured here. Congrats to the family of the immortal great poetess.
    A gorgeous poem, created with great passion.(Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Sylvia Frances ChanSylvia Frances Chan (10/5/2019 10:29:00 PM)

    I cite here this stanza of the great poetess:
    I do not like the phrase " It might have been! "
    It lacks force, and life's best truths perverts:
    For I believe we have, and reach, and win,
    Whatever our deserts.
    I love these words created with passion and devotion
    the lines are with excellent end rhymes. True captivating and I like this very much. Beautiful poem!(Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Malabika Ray ChoudhuryMalabika Ray Choudhury (10/5/2019 6:38:00 PM)

    The poet doesn't like the phrase - it might have been! With determination and courage, greatness can be achieved -
    What eagle ever missed the peak he sought?

    Such a positive outlook! And expressed beautifully!(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Kingsley EgbukoleKingsley Egbukole (10/5/2019 5:27:00 PM)

    Whatever we put our minds to, we will achieve with determination. Beautiful poem. Kingsley Egbukole(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • JeremiahParker (10/5/2019 2:35:00 PM)

    I am making $92 an hour working from home. i was greatly surprised at the same time as my neighbour advised me she changed into averaging $ninety five however I see the way it works now.
    I experience masses freedom now that i'm my non-public boss. that is what I do...... works55(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Uche NwanzeUche Nwanze (10/5/2019 1:54:00 PM)

    ' No fate shall keep us from the chosen way'
    A fascinating piece(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Dr Tony BrahminDr Tony Brahmin (10/5/2019 1:35:00 PM)

    We will climb where we could climb. Tell me not
    Of adverse storms that kept thee from the height.
    What eagle ever missed the peak he sought?
    He always climbs who might. determination, self confidence and proper thinking leads to a vision of life. very good poem dear poet(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Aniruddha PathakAniruddha Pathak (10/5/2019 11:07:00 AM)

    Do not say what might have been...
    a wonderfully well-writ poem so well crafted.(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Benjamín Uy (10/5/2019 8:15:00 AM)

    In other do what’s best,
    Believe, create achieve all that can be won,
    Believing it can be done, *****(Report)Reply

    3 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Benjamin Uy (10/5/2019 8:14:00 AM)

    In other do what’s best,
    Believe, create achieve all that can be won,
    Believing it can be done, great inspiring poem(Report)Reply

    3 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Ratnakar Mandlik (10/5/2019 7:17:00 AM)

    Self confidence and determination are the main assests of an achiever. Eternal truth worthy of selaction as classic poem of the day.(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Shaun CronickShaun Cronick (10/5/2019 2:54:00 AM)

    Another fine poem from Ella Wheeler Wilcox who is my greatest friend in time. Without whom I wouldn't have written anything. She is and always will be my driving force and inspiration when writing. We all know her great poem called Solitude but if you have the time read The Two Glasses it's brilliantly written and magically flows.(Report)Reply

    4 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Ratnakar Mandlik (6/25/2019 11:38:00 PM)

    A thoughtfully crafted motivational song reiterating the role of confidence in achieving one's goal. Well deserved modern poem of the Day.(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Dr Tony BrahminDr Tony Brahmin (6/25/2019 2:16:00 PM)

    I do not like the phrase " It might have been! "
    It lacks force, and life's best truths perverts:
    For I believe we have, and reach, and win,
    Whatever our deserts... beautiful idea of positiveness. tony(Report)Reply

    5 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Edward Kofi LouisEdward Kofi Louis (6/25/2019 10:16:00 AM)

    Tell me not! !
    Thanks for sharing this poem with us.(Report)Reply

    4 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Mahtab BangaleeMahtab Bangalee (6/25/2019 5:28:00 AM)

    We will be what we could be. Do not say,
    " It might have been, had not this, or that, or this."
    No fate can keep us from the chosen way; ......./// what a great starting of a poem; love it; it straightly goes to my FAV list(Report)Reply

    5 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Adeeb AlfatehAdeeb Alfateh (6/25/2019 12:39:00 AM)

    I do not like the phrase " It might have been! "
    It lacks force, and life's best truths perverts:

    great write
    great 10++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++(Report)Reply

    6 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Lee Eckhart (12/20/2018 5:06:00 PM)

    Abit choppy and as usual, Ella has it for Men. Now that could be good or bad?(Report)Reply

    6 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Abhipsa Panda (10/5/2018 10:34:00 AM)

    very nice poem, very beautifully framed.(Report)Reply

    5 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
Read all 36 comments »




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Read poems about / on: hero, believe, fate, dream, life



Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003



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