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  Occupation  

 

There must in heaven be many industries
And occupations, varied, infinite;
Or heaven could not be heaven.
What gracious tasks
The Mighty Maker of the universe
Can offer souls that have prepared on earth
By holding lovely thoughts and fair desires!

Art thou a poet to whom words come not?
A dumb composer of unuttered sounds,
Ignored by fame and to the world unknown?
Thine may be, then, the mission to create
Immortal lyrics and immortal strains,
For stars to chant together as they swing
About the holy centre where God dwells.

Hast thou the artist instinct with no skill
To give it form or colour?    Unto thee
It may be given to paint upon the skies
Astounding dawns and sunsets, framed by seas
And mountains; or to fashion and adorn
New faces for sweet pansies and new dyes
To tint their velvet garments.    Oftentimes
Methinks behind a beauteous flower I see,
Or in the tender glory of a dawn,
The presence of some spirit who has gone
Into the place of mystery, whose call,
Imperious and compelling, sounds for all
Or soon or late.    So many have passed on -
So many with ambitions, hopes, and aims
Unrealised, who could not be content
As idle angels even in paradise.
The unknown Michelangelos who lived
With thoughts on beauty bent while chained to toil
That gave them only bread and burial -
These must find waiting in the world of space
The shining timbers of their splendid dreams,
Ready for shaping temples, shrines, and towers,
Where radiant hosts may congregate to raise
Their glad hosannas to the God Supreme.
And will there not be gardens glorious,
And mansions all embosomed among blooms,
Where heavenly children reach out loving arms
To lonely women who have been denied
On earth the longed-for boon of motherhood?

Surely God has provided work to do
For souls like these, and for the weary, rest.

       - Ella Wheeler Wilcox


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