The Kingdom of Love

by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

In the dawn of the day when the sea and the earth
Reflected the sun-rise 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 glittering turrets of light."
And soon in the distance the city shone fair.
"Look yonder," he said; "how 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.
Then 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 hopes 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 me, for our lady's abode
Belongs in that realm, you will find."
'Twas a grand dame of fashion, a newly-made bride,
I followed encouraged and bold;
But my hopes 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.'"