I hold it the duty of one who is gifted
And specially dowered I all men’s sight,
To know no rest till his life is lifted
Fully up to his great gifts’ height.

He must mould the man into rare completeness,
For gems are only in gold refined.
He must fashion his thoughts into perfect sweetness,
And cast out folly and pride from his mind.

For he who drinks from a god’s gold fountain
Of art of music or rhythmic song
Must sift from his soul the chaff of malice,
And weed from his heart the roots of wrong.

Great gifts should be worn, like a crown befitting,
And not like gems in a beggar’s hands!
And the toil must be constant and unremitting
Which lifts up the king to the crown’s demands.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Ella Wheeler Wilcox's poem Noblesse Oblige

1 Comment

  1. DIANE says:

    This poem is awful…… it makes a simple and beautiful concept seems foolish and convoluted. Noblesse Oblige is simple: you are obliged to be noble because you are noble ( whether that be by birth as in the concept of the nobility, or because you are gifted in some way, or because you are you…. the fact is if we practiced this we’d be better off
    The idea requires that you help others in any way you can =small or large= because os a member of the human race you are obliged to do so. Wheeler Wilcox has it wrong !

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