Archives On The Air 84: The Secret Of Happiness—The Virginia Scully Papers

Nov 13, 2018

Virginia Scully was a journalist and nonfiction writer until the 1970s. Her papers contain an unpublished poem called “The Secret of Happiness.” 

Here is an excerpt:

“I am the water: on whose bank

Great factories have risen, rank on rank,

And the millions of souls that are there all the while,

How toil they all day, and yet wear a smile?

Is it not that they, putting self aside,

Formed in the fire and molded and tried,

Have found the Secret with which to bless,

And taken and used it – Unselfishness?”

“I am the wind that passing o’er,

Have seen great nations from shore to shore.

And I’ve seen men striving on all the earth

That justice and liberty might have birth.

Behold, the men that have lived and died

That the rights of their fellows might not be denied!

See! They hold out their hands to direct and bless.

The nation is built on unselfishness.”

Then the Father of Earth, rising up from his throw,

Addressed the mortals, his children alone;

“Ye have heard, O my children, the message of these,

The mightiest rulers of lands and seas –

Nay, I know ‘tis more than ye can conceive,

But will ye not – will ye not try to believe?

There is only one way to Happiness –

‘Tis in yielding up self – ‘tis Unselfishness!”

You can read the rest of the poem and more of her writings in the Virginia Scully papers at UW’s American Heritage Center.