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Best Famous Ella Wheeler Wilcox Poems

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by Ella Wheeler Wilcox |

Sorrows Uses

 The uses of sorrow I comprehend
Better and better at each year’s end.

Deeper and deeper I seem to see
Why and wherefore it has to be

Only after the dark, wet days
Do we fully rejoice in the sun’s bright rays.

Sweeter the crust tastes after the fast
Than the sated gourmand’s finest repast.

The faintest cheer sounds never amiss
To the actor who once has heard a hiss.

To one who the sadness of freedom knows, 
Light seem the fetters love may impose.

And he who has dwelt with his heart alone, 
Hears all the music in friendship’s tone.

So better and better I comprehend, 
How sorrow ever would be our friend.

by Ella Wheeler Wilcox |

Loves Coming

 She had looked for his coming as warriors come, 
With the clash of arms and the bugle's call; 
But he came instead with a stealthy tread, 
Which she did not hear at all. 

She had thought how his armor would blaze in the sun, 
As he rode like a prince to claim his bride: 
In the sweet dim light of the falling night 
She found him at her side. 

She had dreamed how the gaze of his strange, bold eye 
Would wake her heart to a sudden glow: 
She found in his face the familiar grace 
Of a friend she used to know. 

She had dreamed how his coming would stir her soul, 
As the ocean is stirred by the wild storm's strife: 
He brought her the balm of a heavenly calm, 
And a peace which crowned her life.

by Ella Wheeler Wilcox |

Begin The Day

 Begin each morning with a talk to God,
And ask for your divine inheritance
Of usefulness, contentment, and success.
Resign all fear, all doubt, and all despair.
The stars doubt not, and they are undismayed,
Though whirled through space for countless centuries,
And told not why or wherefore: and the sea
With everlasting ebb and flow obeys,
And leaves the purpose with the unseen Cause.
The star sheds its radiance on a million worlds,
The sea is prodigal with waves, and yet
No lustre from the star is lost, and not
One dropp missing from the ocean tides.
Oh! brother to the star and sea, know all
God’s opulence is held in trust for those
Who wait serenely and who work in faith.

by Ella Wheeler Wilcox |

Last Love

 The first flower of the spring is not so fair 
Or bright, as one the ripe midsummer brings. 
The first faint note the forest warbler sings 
Is not as rich with feeling, or so rare 
As when, full master of his art, the air 
Drowns in the liquid sea of song he flings 
Like silver spray from beak, and breast, and wings. 
The artist's earliest effort wrought with care, 
The bard's first ballad, written in his tears, 
Set by his later toil seems poor and tame. 
And into nothing dwindles at the test. 
So with the passions of maturer years 
Let those who will demand the first fond flame, 
Give me the heart's last love, for that is best.

by Ella Wheeler Wilcox |

Love is Enough

 Love is enough. Let us not ask for gold. 
Wealth breeds false aims, and pride and selfishness; 
In those serene, Arcadian days of old 
Men gave no thought to princely homes and dress. 
The gods who dwelt on fair Olympia's height 
Lived only for dear love and love's delight. 
Love is enough.

Love is enough. Why should we care for fame? 
Ambition is a most unpleasant guest: 
It lures us with the glory of a name 
Far from the happy haunts of peace and rest. 
Let us stay here in this secluded place 
Made beautiful by love's endearing grace! 
Love is enough.

Love is enough. Why should we strive for power? 
It brings men only envy and distrust. 
The poor world's homage pleases but an hour, 
And earthly honours vanish in the dust. 
The grandest lives are ofttimes desolate; 
Let me be loved, and let who will be great. 
Love is enough.

Love is enough. Why should we ask for more? 
What greater gift have gods vouchsafed to men? 
What better boon of all their precious store 
Than our fond hearts that love and love again? 
Old love may die; new love is just as sweet; 
And life is fair and all the world complete: 
Love is enough!

by Ella Wheeler Wilcox |

Does It Pay?

 If one poor burdened toiler o’er life’s road, 
Who meets us by the way, 
Goes on less conscious of his galling load, 
Then life, indeed, does pay.

If we can show the troubled heart the gain
That lies always in loss, 
Why, then, we too are paid for all the pain
Of bearing life’s hard cross.

If some despondent soul to hope is stirred, 
Some sad lip made to smile, 
By any act of ours, or any word, 
Then, life has been worth while.

by Ella Wheeler Wilcox |

Going Away

 Walking to-day on the Common, 
I heard a stranger say
To a friend who was standing near him, 
'Do you know I am going away? '
I had never seen their faces, 
May never see them again; 
Yet the words the stranger uttered, 
Stirred me with nameless pain.

For I knew some heart would miss him, 
Would ache at his going away! 
And the earth would seem all cheerless
For many and many a day.
No matter how light my spirits, 
No matter how glad my heart, 
If I hear those two words spoken, 
The teardrops always start.

They are so sad and solemn, 
So full of a lonely sound; 
Like dead leaves rustling downward, 
And dropping upon the ground, 
Oh, I pity the naked branches, 
When the skies are dull and gray, 
And the last leaf whispers softly, 
'Good-bye, I am going away.'

In the dreary, dripping autumn, 
The wings of the flying birds, 
As they soar away to the south land, 
Seem always to say those words.
Wherever they may be spoken, 
They fall with a sob and a sigh; 
And heartaches follow the sentence, 
'I am going away, Good-bye.'

O God, in Thy blessed kingdom, 
No lips shall ever say, 
No ears shall ever harken
To the words 'I am going away.'
For no soul ever wearies
Of the dear, bright angel land, 
And no saint ever wanders
From the sunny golden land.

by Ella Wheeler Wilcox |

Mothers Loss

 If I could clasp my little babe
Upon my breast to-night, 
I would not mind the blowing wind
That shrieketh in affright.
Oh, my lost babe! my little babe, 
My babe with dreamful eyes; 
Thy bed is cold; and night wind bold
Shrieks woeful lullabies.

My breast is softer than the sod; 
This room, with lighter hearth, 
Is better place for thy sweet face
Than frozen mother eatrth.
Oh, my babe! oh, my lost babe! 
Oh, babe with waxen hands, 
I want thee so, I need thee so -
Come from thy mystic lands! 

No love that, like a mother's fills
Each corner of the heart; 
No loss like hers, that rends, and chills, 
And tears the soul apart.
Oh, babe - my babe, my helpless babe! 
I miss thy little form.
Would I might creep where thou dost sleep, 
And clasp thee through the storm.

I hold thy pillow to my breast, 
To bring a vague relief; 
I sing the songs that soothed thy rest -
Ah me! no cheating grief.
My breathing babe! my sobbing babe! 
I miss thy plaintive moan, 
I cannot hear - thou art not near -
My little one, my own.

Thy father sleeps. He mourns thy loss, 
But little fathers know
The pain that makes a mother toss
Through sleepless nights of woe.
My clinging babe! my nursing babe! 
What knows thy father - man -
How my breasts miss thy lips' soft kiss -
None but a mother can.

by Ella Wheeler Wilcox |


 Smile a little, smile a little, 
As you go along, 
Not alone when life is pleasant, 
But when things go wrong.
Care delights to see you frowning, 
Loves to hear you sigh; 
Turn a smiling face upon her –
Quick the dame will fly.

Smile a little, smile a little, 
All along the road; 
Every life must have its burden, 
Every heart its load.
Why sit down in gloom and darkness
With your grief to sup? 
As you drink Fate’s bitter tonic, 
Smile across the cup.

Smile upon the troubled pilgrims
Whom you pass and meet; 
Frowns are thorns, and smiles are blossoms
Oft for weary feet.
Do not make the way seem harder
By a sullen face; 
Smile a little, smile a little, 
Brighten up the place.

Smile upon your undone labour; 
Not for one who grieves
O’er his task waits wealth or glory; 
He who smiles achieves.
Though you meet with loss and sorrow
In the passing years, 
Smile a little, smile a little, 
Even through your tears.

by Ella Wheeler Wilcox |


 These quiet Autumn days, 
My soul, like Noah's dove, on airy wings
Goes out and searches for the hidden things
Beyond the hills of haze.

With mournful, pleading cries, 
Above the waters of the voiceless sea
That laps the shore of broad Eternity, 
Day after day, it flies, 

Searching, but all in vain, 
For some stray leaf that it may light upon, 
And read the future, as the days agone -
Its pleasures, and its pain.

Listening patiently
For some voice speaking from the mighty deep, 
Revealing all the things that it doth keep
In secret there for me.

Come back and wait, my soul! 
Day after day thy search has been in vain.
Voiceles and silent o'er the future's plain
Its mystic waters roll.

God, seeing, knoweth best, 
And in His time the waters shall subside, 
And thou shalt know what lies beneath the tide, 
Then wait, my soul, and rest.