Settle the Question Right

Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1850-1919) American author and poet, was born in Wisconsin on November 5, 1850. “Solitude” is probably her best-remembered poem, for its opening lines, “Laugh, and the world laughs with you;/ Weep, and you weep alone./ For the sad old earth must borrow its mirth / But has trouble enough of its own.” Her poetry collections include Poems of Passion (1883), Poems of Reflection (1905), and Poems of Peace (1906).

While many of her poems seem old-fashioned over a 100 years after they were written, “Settle the Question Right” offers a perspective that applies to the struggles of any age. 

To read Ella Wheeler Wilcox’s poem “Settle the Question Right” click:


Settle the Question Right

by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

However the battle is ended,
Though proudly the victor comes,
With flaunting flags and neighing nags
And echoing roll of drums;
Still truth proclaims this motto
In letters of living light,
No question is ever settled
Until it is settled right.
Though the heel of the strong oppressor
May grind the weak in the dust,
And the voices of fame with one acclaim
May call him great and just;
Let those who applaud take warning
And keep this motto in sight,
No question is ever settled
Until it is settled right.
Let those who have failed take courage,
Though the enemy seem to have won;
If he be in the wrong, though his ranks are strong,
The battle is not yet done.
For sure as the morning follows
The darkest hour of night,
No question is ever settled
Until it is settled right.
O men, bowed down with labour,
O women, young yet old,
O heart, oppressed in the toiler’s breast
And crushed by the power of gold,
Keep on with your weary battle
Against triumphant might;
No question is ever settled
Until it is settled right.

“Settle the Question Right” is in the public domain. 

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Nona Blyth Cloud has lived and worked in the Los Angeles area for over 50 years, spending much of that time commuting on the 405 Freeway. After Hollywood failed to appreciate her genius for acting and directing, she began a second career managing non-profits, from which she has retired. Nona has now resumed writing whatever comes into her head, instead of reports and pleas for funding. She lives in a small house overrun by books with her wonderful husband.
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