Another Take on the “Wheel of Life”

Another Take on the “Wheel of Life”

You are probably familiar with Yoko’s composition “Wheel of Life,” which appears on the album Live at Scullers Jazz Club — if not, do check it out! 

While the composition is original, the concept of life as an ever-turning wheel has appeared in many places, from Buddhist religion to modern mind-mapping exercises. The poem below, printed in 1881 (Arthur’s Home Magazine, Philadelphia), shows a completely different take than Yoko’s.

The author used the pen name “Faustine,” but is not clear who that is. The Scot author Eliza Margaret von Booth named a novel “Faustine” the following year, but von Booth herself was not known to write poetry, and she used the pen name “Rita.” “Faustine” contributed a number of poems to the magazine.


The Wheel of Life

We stand at the wheel of life and spin
And we draw the life threads to and fro
And the dark and the light go blending in
And the daylights come and the daylights go.And our feet grow tired of the weary tread
And our hands grow tired with the endless toil
But each human soul must spin its thread
And wind and colour it coil by coil

We stand at the loom of life and weave
The garb that our souls must ever wear
And look at the faded web and grieve
At the broken ends and the seam of care

For we cannot see as the days go by
And the wheel whirls on in its dull routine
That we let the fibres run all awry
And that in the web they will all be seen

But all must stand at the wheel and spin
And whether the woof be good or ill
The robe that we meet our maker in
Is woven here at the weaver’s will

To the spirit guiding its work with care
A wiser than he will the web unroll
And under the shuttle of patient prayer
Will the garment shine in a perfect whole.


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