“Love Thyself Last”

As I was studying for our series Life Together, I remembered this poem from Ella Wheeler Wilcox, and I think it’s a perfect picture for remembering our joyful duty to one another

Ella Wheeler WilcoxLove thyself last. Look near, behold thy duty

To those who walk beside thee down life’s road.

Make glad their days by little acts of beauty

And help them bear the burden of earth’s load.


Love thyself last. Look far and find the stranger

Who staggers ‘neath his sin and his despair;

Go, lend a hand, and lead him out of danger,

To heights where he may see the world is fair.


Love thyself last. The vastness above thee

Are filled with Spirit-Forces; strong and pure

And fervently there faithful friends shall love thee

Keep thou thy watch o’er others and endure.


Love thyself last, and oh! such joy shall thrill thee

As never yet to selfish souls was given;

Whate’er thy lot, a perfect peace will fill thee,

And earth shall seem the ante-room of Heaven.


Love thyself last, and thou shalt grow in spirit

To see, to hear, to know, and understand.

The message of the stars, lo, thou shalt hear it,

And all God’s joys shall be at thy command.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

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