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Articles, Prose, Poems, Prayers, Quotes, & Lyrics:

Prose, Poems, & Prayers


by Max Ehrmann Copyright © 1927, 1954 Max Ehrmann. All Rights Reserved. (not St. Paul's Church - see note below)

Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexations to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars. You have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive God to be; and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

Buy the Book

Max Ehrmann wrote the book, Desiderata, listed below, along with many other books. There are also fine art prints, posters, and more about Desiderata. Here is a selection of top sellers from amazon.com:

Desiderata and Other Books by Max Ehrmann
  • Desiderata : A Poem for a Way of Life (Hardcover), by Max Ehrmann 
  • The Desiderata Of Love, by Max Ehrmann 
  • The Desiderata of Happiness, by Max Ehrmann 
  • Desiderata: Words For Life, by Max Ehrmann (Author), Marc Tauss (Photographer, Illustrator), Scholastic (June 1, 2004) 
  • Desiderata for Dog Lovers : A Guide to Life & Happiness (Hardcover), by Max Ehrmann 
  • Desiderata for Cat Lovers : A Guide to Life & Happiness (Hardcover), by Max Ehrmann 
Fine Art Prints, Posters of Desiderata
  • Desiderata, Fine Art Print, 8x10 
  • Desiderata, Fine Art Print, 12x16 
  • Desiderata, Decorative Poster, 20x16 shades of rich blue
  • Desiderata, Decorative Wall Poster, 36x24 with peaceful waterfall
  • Desiderata, Decorative Poster, 36x24 shades of rich blue
You Might Also Like:
  • The Four Agreements, by Don Miguel Ruiz 

In association with In association with Amazon.com

Important Note

This prose is by Max Ehrmann and NOT a poem found in Old St. Paul's Church, 1692, as noted all over the Internet. If interested, check out the proof and documentation from The Confused History of 'Desiderata'.



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