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 shall 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!"
Poems of Love by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Chicago: M.A.Donohue, 1905.
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