God and I in space alone
and nobody else in view.
"And where are the people, O Lord," I said,
"the earth below and the sky o'er head
and the dead whom once I knew?"

"That was a dream," God smiled and said,
"A dream that seemed to be true.
There were no people, living or dead,
there was no earth, and no sky o'er head;
there was only Myself -- in you."

"Why do I feel no fear," I asked,
"meeting You here this way?
For I have sinned I know full well--
and is there heaven, and is there hell,
and is this the Judgment Day?"

"Nay, those were but dreams,"
the Great God said,
"Dreams that have ceased to be.
There are no such things as fear or sin;
there is no you -- you never have been--
there is nothing at all
but Me."

by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

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Laugh, and the world laughs with you;
Weep, and you weep alone.
For the sad old earth must borrow its mirth,
But has trouble enough of its own.
Sing, and the hills will answer;
Sigh, it is lost on the air.
The echoes bound to a joyful sound,
But shrink from voicing care.
Rejoice, and men will seek you;
Grieve, and they turn and go.
They want full measure of all your pleasure,
But they do not need your woe.
Be glad, and your friends are many;
Be sad, and you lose them all.
There are none to decline your nectared wine,
But alone you must drink life's gall.
Feast, and your halls are crowded;
Fast, and the world goes by.
Succeed and give, and it helps you live,
But no man can help you die.
There is room in the halls of pleasure
For a long and lordly train,
But one by one we must all file on
Through the narrow aisles of pain.

                                   by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Ella Wheeler Wilcox


If one proves weak whom you fancied strong,
   Or false whom you fancied true,
Just ease the smart of your wounded heart
   By the thought that it is not you.

If many forget a promise made,
   And your faith falls into the dust,
Then look meanwhile in your mirror and smile,
   And say, 'I am the one to trust.'

If you search in vain for an ageing face
   Unharrowed by fretful fears,
Then make right now, and keep a vow
   To grow in grace with the years.

If you lose your faith in the word of man
   As you go from the port of youth,
Just say as you sail, 'I will not fail
   To keep to the course of truth.'

For this is the way, and the only way--
   At least it seems so to me.
It is up to you, to be and to do,
   What you look for in others.

                                             by Ella Wheeler Wilcox