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The World's Need
by Ella Wheeler Wilcox  (1850-1919)

So many gods
So many creeds,
So many paths that wind and wind
While just the art of being kind
is all this sad world needs.

I am the voice of the voiceless
Through me the mute shall speak
'til the deaf world's ear
be made to hear
the cry of the wordless weak.

From lab, from cage, from kennel,
from slaughterhouses, comes the wail
of my tortured kin
who proclaim the sin
of the mighty against the frail.

For love is the true religion
And love is the law sublime
And all that is wrought
where love is not
will die with the touch of time.

Oh, shame on the mothers of mortals
Who have not stopped to teach
of the sorrow that lies
in an animal's eyes;
the sorrow that has no speech.


picture of Ella Wheeler Wilcox
picture of Ella Wheeler Wilcox

The same power formed the sparrow
that fashioned man; the king
The god of the whole
gave a living soul
to furred and to feathered thing.

And I am my brother's keeper
And I will fight his fight
and speak the word
for beast and bird
til the world shall set things right.