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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 | |

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 | |

Smiles

 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 | |

Searching

 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.


by Ella Wheeler Wilcox | |

A Fallen Leaf

 A trusting little leaf of green,
A bold audacious frost;
A rendezvous, a kiss or two,
And youth for ever lost.
Ah, me! The bitter, bitter cost.
A flaunting patch of vivid red, That quivers in the sun; A windy gust, a grave of dust, The little race is run.
Ah, me! Were that the only one.


by Ella Wheeler Wilcox | |

Friendship After Love

 After the fierce midsummer all ablaze
Has burned itself to ashes, and expires
In the intensity of its own fires, 
There come the mellow, mild, St.
Martin days Crowned with the calm of peace, but sad with haze.
So after Love has led us, till he tires Of his own throes, and torments, and desires, Comes large-eyed Friendship: with a restful gaze.
He beckons us to follow, and across Cool verdant vales we wander free from care.
Is it a touch of frost lies in the air? Why are we haunted with a sense of loss? We do not wish the pain back, or the heat; And yet, and yet, these days are incomplete.


by Ella Wheeler Wilcox | |

I Love You

 I love your lips when they're wet with wine 
And red with a wild desire; 
I love your eyes when the lovelight lies 
Lit with a passionate fire.
I love your arms when the warm white flesh Touches mine in a fond embrace; I love your hair when the strands enmesh Your kisses against my face.
Not for me the cold calm kiss Of a virgin's bloodless love; Not for me the saint's white bliss, Nor the heart of a spotless dove.
But give me the love that so freely gives And laughs at the whole world's blame, With your body so young and warm in my arms, It sets my poor heart aflame.
So kiss me sweet with your warm wet mouth, Still fragrant with ruby wine, And say with a fervor born of the South That your body and soul are mine.
Clasp me close in your warm young arms, While the pale stars shine above, And we'll live our whole young lives away In the joys of a living love.


by Ella Wheeler Wilcox | |

A Golden Day

  The subtle beauty of this day
Hangs o'er me like a fairy spell,
And care and grief have flown away,
And every breeze sings, "all is well.
" I ask, "Holds earth or sin, or woe?" My heart replies, "I do not know.
" Nay! all we know, or feel, my heart, Today is joy undimmed, complete; In tears or pain we have no part; The act of breathing is so sweet, We care no higher joy to name.
What reck we now of wealth or fame? The past--what matters it to me? The pain it gave has passed away.
The future--that I cannot see! I care for nothing save today-- This is a respite from all care, And trouble flies--I know not where.
Go on, oh noisy, restless life! Pass by, oh, feet that seek for heights! I have no part in aught of strife; I do not want your vain delights.
The day wraps round me like a spell And every breeze sings, "All is well.
"


by Ella Wheeler Wilcox | |

A March Snow

 Let the old snow be covered with the new:
The trampled snow, so soiled, and stained, and sodden.
Let it be hidden wholly from our view By pure white flakes, all trackless and untrodden.
When Winter dies, low at the sweet Spring's feet Let him be mantled in a clean, white sheet.
Let the old life be covered by the new: The old past life so full of sad mistakes, Let it be wholly hidden from the view By deeds as white and silent as snow-flakes.
Ere this earth life melts in the eternal Spring Let the white mantle of repentance fling Soft drapery about it, fold on fold, Even as the new snow covers up the old.


by Ella Wheeler Wilcox | |

It Might Have Been

 We will be what we could be.
Do not say, "It might have been, had not this, or that, or this.
" No fate can keep us from the chosen way; He only might who is.
We will do what we could do.
Do not dream Chance leaves a hero, all uncrowned to grieve.
I hold, all men are greatly what they seem; He does, who could achieve.
We will climb where we could climb.
Tell me not Of adverse storms that kept thee from the height.
What eagle ever missed the peak he sought? He always climbs who might.
I do not like the phrase "It might have been!" It lacks force, and life's best truths perverts: For I believe we have, and reach, and win, Whatever our deserts.


by Ella Wheeler Wilcox | |

Answered Prayers

 I prayed for riches, and achieved success;
All that I touched turned into gold.
Alas! My cares were greater and my peace was less, When that wish came to pass.
I prayed for glory, and I heard my name Sung by sweet children and by hoary men.
But ah! the hurts – the hurts that come with fame.
I was not happy then.
I prayed for Love, and had my heart’s desire.
Through quivering heart and body, and through brain, There swept the flame of its devouring fire, And but the scars remain.
I prayed for a contented mind.
At length Great light upon my darkened spirit burst.
Great peace fell on me also, and great strength – Oh, had that prayer been first!


by Ella Wheeler Wilcox | |

I Will Be Worthy Of It

 It
I may not reach the heights I seek, 
My untried strength may fail me; 
Or, halfway up the mountain peak
Fierce tempests may assail me.
But though that place I never gain, Herein lies the comfort for my pain – I will be worthy of it.
I may not triumph in success, Despite my earnest labour; I may not grasp results that bless The efforts of my neighbour.
But though my goal I never see, This thought shall always dwell with me – I will be worthy of it.
The golden glory of Love’s light May never fall on my way; My path may always lead through night, Like some deserted by-way.
But though life’s dearest joy I miss, There lies a nameless strength in this – I will be worthy of it.


by Ella Wheeler Wilcox | |

Preaching Vs Practice

 It is easy to sit in the sunshine
And talk to the man in the shade; 
It is easy to float in a well-trimmed boat, 
And point out the places to wade.
But once we pass into the shadows, We murmur and fret and frown, And, our length from the bank, we shout for a plank, Or throw up our hands and go down.
It is easy to sit in your carriage, And counsel the man on foot, But get down and walk, and you'll change your talk, As you feel the peg in your boot.
It is easy to tell the toiler How best he can carry his pack, But no one can rate a burden's weight Until it has been on his back.
The up-curled mouth of pleasure, Can prate of sorrow's worth, But give it a sip, and a wryer lip, Was never made on earth.


by Ella Wheeler Wilcox | |

Love

 The longer I live and the more I see 
Of the struggle of souls towards the heights above, 
The stronger this truth comes home to me--- 
That the Universe rests on the shoulders of love, 
A love so limitless, deep, and broad, 
That men have re-named it, and called it God.
And nothing that was ever born or evolved, Nothing created by light or force But deep in its system there lies dissolved A shining drop from the great Love source; A shining drop that shall live for aye; Though kingdoms may perish and stars decay.


by Ella Wheeler Wilcox | |

Attraction

 The meadow and the mountain with desire
Gazed on each other, till a fierce unrest
Surged ‘neath the meadow’s seemingly calm breast,
And all the mountain’s fissures ran with fire.
A mighty river rolled between them there.
What could the mountain do but gaze and burn? What could the meadow do but look and yearn, And gem its bosom to conceal despair? Their seething passion agitated space, Till lo! the lands a sudden earthquake shook, The river fled: the meadow leaped, and took The leaning mountain in a close embrace.


by Ella Wheeler Wilcox | |

One Of Us Two

 The day will dawn when one of us shall hearken
In vain to hear a voice that has grown dumb.
And morns will fade, noons pale, and shadows darken, While sad eyes watch for feet that never come.
One of us two must sometime face existence Alone with the memories that but sharpen pain.
And these sweet days shall shine back in the distance, Like dreams of summer dawns, in nights of rain.
One of us two, with tortured heart half broken, Shall read long-treasured letters through salt tears, Shall kiss with anguished lips each cherished token, That speaks of these love-crowned, delicious years.
One of us two shall find all light, all beauty, All joy on earth, a tale for ever done; Shall know henceforth that life means only duty.
O God! O God! have pity on that one.


by Ella Wheeler Wilcox | |

Are you Loving Enough?

 Are you loving enough? There is some one dear,
Some one you hold as the dearest of all
In the holiest shrine of your heart.
Are you making it known? Is the truth of it clear To the one you love? If death's quick call Should suddenly tear you apart, Leaving no time for a long farewell, Would you feel you had nothing to tell--- Nothing you wished you had said before The closing of that dark door? Are you loving enough? The swift years fly--- Oh, faster and faster they hurry away, And each one carries its dead.
The good deed left for the by and by, The word to be uttered another day, May never be done or said.
Let the love word sound in the listening ear, Nor wait to speak it above a bier.
Oh the time for telling your love is brief, But long, long, long is the time for grief.
Are you loving enough?