written by Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1850-1919)
So many gods, so many creeds,
So many paths that wind and wind,
While just the art of being kind
Is all the sad world needs.
I am the voice of the voiceless:
Through me, their hearts shall speak;
Till the deaf world’s ear be made to hear
The cry of the wordless weak.
From lab, from cage and from forests,
From slaughterhouse stalls, comes the wail
Of my tortured kin. They proclaim the sin
Of the mighty against the frail.
For love is the true religion,
And love is the law sublime;
And all that is wrought, where love is not
Will die at the touch of time.
Oh, shame on the mothers of mortals
Who have not stopped to teach
Of the sorrow that lies in an animal’s eyes,
The sorrow that has no speech.
The same Power formed the sparrow
That fashioned man – the King;
The God of the whole gave a living soul
To furred and to feathered thing.
And I am my brother’s keeper,
And I will fight his fight;
And speak the word for beast and bird
Till the world shall set things right.
(This is the most simple version, with slight edits for clarity.)