It captures his thoughts about attaining happiness in life. Its universal and timeless sentiments have resonated with people all over the world. As with the ‘Chief Seattle speech‘, another urban legend has emerged suggesting that this poem was “found” at Old St. Paul’s Church in Baltimore and is as old as 1692.
But in this instance, the Church itself has clarified Ehrmann actually wrote it himself and copyrighted it in 1927.
None of this takes away from the beauty and profundity of the poem. Living in a world full of clutter and noise, I find much comfort in this. Here’s one illustrated version I found online: