Will, by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
(first published 1897)
There is no chance, no destiny, no fate,
Can circumvent or hinder or control
The firm resolve of a determined soul.
Gifts count for nothing; will alone is great;
All things give way before it, soon or late.
What obstacle can stay the mighty force
Of the sea-seeking river in its course,
Or cause the ascending orb of day to wait?
Each well-born soul must win what it deserves.
Let the fool prate of luck. The fortunate
Is he whose earnest purpose never swerves,
Whose slightest action or inaction serves
The one great aim. Why, even Death stands still,
And waits an hour sometimes for such a will.
Poetical works of Ella Wheeler Wilcox. by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Edinburgh : W. P. Nimmo, Hay, & Mitchell, Second Edition 1917.
Source: Ella Wheeler Wilcox Society
This poetess has been a hero of mine since I discovered her writings when I was fifteen years old. Her ‘Winds of Fate’ was one of the first I ever memorized. This poem ‘Will’ also resonates deeply and when I came upon this astounding photograph with an excerpt from her poem, the timing felt perfect. I’ll soon share more works of the talented Ella Wheeler Wilcox from my almost 100-year-old poetry book “Poems of Pleasure” (one of my most cherished antique books). May these timeless words stir awake that inner hero ‘Willpower’. Let’s claim our own determined resolve and know that we have the ability to make our dreams into reality.