Though critics may bow to art, and I am its own true lover,
It is not art, but heart, which wins the wide world over.
Though smooth be the heartless prayer, no ear in Heaven
will mind it,
And the finest phrase falls dead, if there is no feeling behind it.
Though perfect the player's touch, little if any he sways
Unless we feel his heart throb through the music he plays us.
Though the poet may spend his life in skilfully rounding
Unless he writes from a full warm heart, he gives us little pleasure.
So it is not the speech which tells, but the impulse which
goes with the saying,
And it is not the words of the prayer, but the yearning back of the praying.
It is not the artist's skill, which into our soul comes
With a joy that is almost pain, but it is the player's feeling.
And it is not the poet's song, though sweeter than sweet
Which thrills us through and through, but the heart which beats under the rhyming.
And therefore I say again, though I am art's own true lover,
That it is not art, but heart, which wins the wide world over.
Poetical works of Ella Wheeler Wilcox. by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Edinburgh : W. P. Nimmo, Hay, & Mitchell, 1917.
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