Published on Academy of American Poets (


What kind of thoughts now, do you carry
   In your travels day by day
Are they bright and lofty visions, 
   Or neglected, gone astray?

Matters not how great in fancy, 
    Or what deeds of skill you’ve wrought; 
Man, though high may be his station, 
    Is no better than his thoughts. 

Catch your thoughts and hold them tightly, 
   Let each one an honor be; 
Purge them, scourge them, burnish brightly, 
   Then in love set each one free. 


This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on January 18, 2020, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem

“Thoughts” was originally published in Thoughts of Idle Hours (National Baptist Publishing Board, 1915).


Myra Viola Wilds

Myra Viola Wilds was born in Kentucky. She authored the poetry collection Thoughts of Idle Hours (National Baptist Publishing Board, 1915), in her own hand after losing her eyesight due to overwork as a dressmaker. 

Date Published: 1915-01-01

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