Desiderata Poem

The Desiderata Poem are words of wisdom words that were written by Max Ehrmann. It has inspired and encouraged millions of people worldwide. The poem is one that gives direction for living life filled with wisdom and advice to help you along life's journey. The poem was written in the 1920s but did not become widelyknown until the 1960s.

Desiderata is a great poem to share at graduation or for anyone who is questioning what makes a successful and happy life. The poem is applicable to all ages from teens to seniors. Within its verses, you will find wisdom for life; a way of living that brings contentment and peace.

Also, be encouraged by the other verses by Max Ehrmann.

Short Poems & Quotes    /   Inspirational Poems    /   Desiderata Poem

Desiderata Poem
Quotes To Live By


Poet: Max Ehrmann

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 & clearly; and listen to others,
 even the dull & 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 future 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 & 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 & loneliness.
Beyond 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 Him to be,
and whatever your labours & aspirations,
 in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery & broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.

Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

Max Ehrmann Verses

Short Verses by Max Ehrmann

In addition to the poem, Desiderata, Max Ehrmann wrote many other poems and thoughts. Desiderata is the most famous but you may also be inspired by some of his other work. Words of wisdom are found in his writings.

I know you oft have told me, dear;
The world is full of hate and strife;
But I'm content with you and life -
With you each night beside me here.
Max Ehrmann, To You Who Come At Evening

If the noise of the city offend you, go afield, when you may,
with the birds and the wild, free life that troubles not.
Max Ehrmann, The Noise of The City

Your first duty is to learn to live in the world, for to this you are born.
Your first duty is to learn to live in the world, for to this you are born.
Max Ehrmann, One Will Pass The Door

Come you who are weary, and sit in the shadow of my faith; and when you are rested we shall journey together, singing gleefully on the highway, lending many a hand, yet passing ever on and on; and at nightfall, tired and content, we shall light the candles in the house of love, thank God in cheerful words, and lie down to peaceful sleep.
Max Ehrmann, Come, You Who Are Weary

And over every lake, and over the crest of every hill, and over the green level of every open field, and if we could but see, over the sky-obscuring houses of every city -
is God painting His revelation.
Max Ehrmann, Revelation

And though behind you lies a road of dust and heat,
and before you the fear of untried paths,
in this brief hour you are master of all highways,
and the universe nestles in your soul.
Therefore, in the night, sit still a while and dream awake,
ere you life down to sleep.
Max Ehrmann, Ere You Lie Down To Sleep

Work as if thy task were made for thee;
Be strong as if thou hadst courage,
And charitable as if thou hadst been rewarded;
Remain poor if riches are dishonorable
Max Ehrmann, The Greater Heroism

More Short Poems by Max Ehrmann

Walk Sweetly
Poet: Max Ehrmann

Walk sweetly through this noisy place,
O thou with pliant soul!
And learn to go with thankful heart
As onward seasons roll.

And though 'tis human fate to fail,
Tis great to hold still fast
To that one thing thou lovest best,
For it alone will last.

And though the shadows on thee fall,
If thou art gentle still
And calmly walk with thankful heart,
Thou'st done the Master's will.

And next the laugh of happy maids,
An old man's smile is best —
The greatest triumph in the world—
And surely it is blest.

Poet: Max Ehrmann

Who lives
For kindness gives
A light to darkened lands;
And tho no image of him stands
In public place, he is a martyr
Amid piratic schemes of barter
And triumphs tho he die unwept;
His light may once have crept
Through hearts of stone
And shone.

The Light Of A Cheerful Heart
Poet: Max Ehrmann

I tell you that you and I and the commonest
person are all journeying the same way,
hemmed in by the same narrow path,
leading to the eternal years.

We pride ourselves over our particular superiority;
but really there is little difference
between us;

And in this journey over the thousand hills and
valleys called life, he is wisest who is
patient where the way is hard, has faith when
he does not understand, and carries into the
dark places the light of a cheerful heart.

Tell Me
Poet: Max Ehrmann

Come tell me, you who verses write —
Do you with might
Betray your inmost thought?
And you who paint these pictures grand-
Do they all stand
For what your heart has wrought?
And you who cut the marble cold —
Does it now hold
The things your life has taught?
And you, O you, who sweetly sing!
Do your words bring
The bliss your soul has caught?

Evening Song
Poet: Max Ehrmann

Give me to gladly go
My way,
And say
No word of mine own woe;
But let me smile each day.

Give me the strength to do
My task
I ask;
And that I shall not rue
The toiler's grimy mask.

Give one loved hand to me,
And leave
The eve
All undisturbed as we
Our strength of souls retrieve.

And lastly give sweet sleep,
Closed sight,
No fright,
Nor fears that wakeful keep;
And now a sweet good night.

O Passer-By!
Poet: Max Ehrmann

O passer-by, O passer-by!
Have you good words of me
Upon your lips as I draw nigh
To you each day?

If so, I beg
That you'd them say,
For soon I'm gone and cannot hear,
So speak the kindly word
I beg and smile while yet I'm near.
I'd speak to you,
If courage came,
And I quite knew
You'd take the love my heart oft sends,
And give me yours as well —

O passer-by, come let's be friends!
Life's smiles and tears
And happiness
And childish fears
Are mine, just like your own each day,
(You understand I know.)
So come and let's be friends I say.

The Life That Never Dreams
Poet: Max Ehrmann

The life that never dreams, nor now and then in
the still night consults the oracle of the stars,

Nor considers the mystery and beauty of our
world and golden worlds in the ocean
of eve as they burst through the waves of dark,

Nor sees any love and tenderness in men, but
dwells always in the things of its own flesh -

That life, though bearing the semblance of
spiritual man, proud of his immortal destiny,
is still with the lower orders of being,

Insensible to the enchantments that are born
out of the beauty of the world.

More Inspirational Poems  to Encourage & Motivate

Related Poems & Quotes:

Graduation Poems  
Graduation Poems

poems about peace  
Poems About Peace

Bible Verses about Peace Of Mind  
Bible Verses about Peace Of Mind

poems about truth  
Poems About Truth

poems about character  
Poems About Character

meaningful poems  
Meaningful Poems

Christian poems  
Christian Poems

Christian quotes  
Christian Quotes

Poems About Listening  
Poems About Listening

We hope you have found the wisdom that Max Ehrmann shared in his verses of Desiderata. It is a poem I read as a teenagers and its words have stayed with me over the years.  A great poem of young and old alike! This poem is one that we all could refer to on a daily basis. Its words can provide uplifting and positive thoughts to focus our day.

Short Poems & Quotes    |     About Us    |     Contact Us    |