Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Found 145 thoughts of Ella Wheeler Wilcox

For an actress to be a success, she must have the face of Venus, the brains of a Minerva, the grace of Terpsichore, the memory of a Macaulay, the figure of Juno, and the hide of a rhinoceros.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

'Tis easy enough to be pleasant, When life flows along like a song; But the man worth while is the one who will smile when everything goes dead wrong.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

It has ever been since time began, and ever will be, till time lose breath, that love is a mood - no more - to man, and love to a woman is life or death.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

The truest greatness lies in being kind, the truest wisdom in a happy mind.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

There is no chance, no destiny, no fate, that can circumvent or hinder or control the firm resolve of a determined soul.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

So many Gods, so many creeds So many ways that wind and wind, While just the art of being kind is all this sad world needs.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Let there be many windows to your soul, that all the glory of the world may beautify it.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

With every deed you are sowing a seed, though the harvest you may not see.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

No question is ever settled until it is settled right.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Come, cuddle your head on my shoulder, dear, your head like the golden-rod, and we will go sailing away from here to the beautiful land of Nod.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

And the smile that is worth the praises of earth is the smile that shines through tears.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

The splendid discontent of God With chaos made the world. And from the discontent of man The worlds best progress springs.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Penalty

Because of the fullness of what I had,
All that I have seems poor and vain.
If I had not been happy, I were not sad--
Tho' my salt is savorless, why complain?

From the ripe perfection of what was mine,
All that is mine seems worse than naught;
Yet I know, as I sit in the dark and pine,
No cup can be drained which has not been fraught.

From the throb and the thrill of a day that was,
The day that now is seems dull with gloom;
Yet I bear the dullness and darkness, because
'Tis but the reaction of glow and bloom.

From the royal feast that of old was spread
I am starved on the diet that now is mine;
Yet, I could not turn hungry from water and bread
If I had not been sated on fruit and wine.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Conversion

When this world's pleasures for my soul sufficed,
Ere my heart's plummet sounded depths of pain,
I call on Reason to control my brain,
And scoffed at that old story of Christ.

But when o'er burning wastes my feet had trod,
And all my life was desolate with loss,
With bleeding hands I clung about the cross,
And cried aloud, 'Man needs a suffering God! '

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Music In The Flat

When Tom and I were married, we took a little flat;
I had a taste for singing and playing and all that.
And Tom, who loved to hear me, said he hoped
I would not stop
All practice, like so many wives who let their
music drop.
So I resolved to set apart an hour or two each day
To keeping vocal chords and hands in trim to sing and play.

The second morning I had been for half and hour or more
At work on Haydn’s masses, when a tap came at my door.
A nurse, who wore a dainty cap and apron, and a smile,
Ran down to ask if I would cease my music for awhile.
The lady in the flat above was very ill, she said,
And the sound of my piano was distracting to her head.

A fortnight’s exercises lost, ere I began them, when,
The following morning at my door, there came that tap again;
A woman with an anguished face implored me to forego
My music for some days to come – a man was dead below.
I shut down my piano till the corpse had left the house,
And spoke to Tom in whispers and was quiet as a mouse.

A week of labour limbered up my stiffened hand and voice,
I stole an extra hour from sleep, to practice and rejoice;
When, ting-a-ling, the door-bell rang a discord in my trill –
The baby in the flat across was very, very ill.
For ten long days that infant’s life was hanging by a thread,
And all that time my instrument was silent as the dead.

So pain and death and sickness came in one perpetual row,
When babies were not born above, then tenants died below.
The funeral over underneath, some one fell ill on top,
And begged me, for the love of God, to let my music drop.
When trouble went not up or down, it stalked across the hall,
And so in spite of my resolve, I do not play at all.

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.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

River And Sea

Under the light of the silver moon
We two sat, when our hearts were young;
The night was warm with the breath of June,
And loud from the meadow the cricket sung,
And darker and deeper, oh, love, than the sea,
Were your dear eyes, as they beamed to me.

The moon hung clear, and the night was still:
The waters reflected the glittering skies;
The nightingale sang on the distant hill;
But sweeter than all was the light in your eyes -
Your dear, dark eyes, your eyes like the sea -
And up from the depths shone love for me.

My heart, like a river, was mad and wild -
And a river is not deep, like the sea;
But I said yout love was the love of a child,
Compared with the love that was felt by me;
A river leaps noisily, kissing the land,
But the sea is fathomless, deep and grand.

I vowed to love you, for ever and ever!
I called you cold, on that night in June,
But my fierce love, like a reckless river,
Dashed on, and away, and was spent too soon;
While yours - ah, yours was deep like the sea;
I cheated you, love, but you died for me!

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Desolation

I think that the bitterest sorrow or pain
Of love unrequited, or cold death’s woe,
Is sweet, compared to that hour when we know
That some grand passion is on the wane.

When we see that the glory, and glow, and grace
Which lent a splendour to night and day,
Are surely fading, and showing grey
And dull groundwork of the commonplace.

When fond expressions on dull ears fall,
When the hands clasp calmly without one thrill,
When we cannot muster by force of will
The old emotions that came at call.

When the dream has vanished we fain would keep,
When the heart, like a watch, runs out of gear,
And all the savour goes out of the year,
Oh, then is the time – if we could – to weep!

But no tears soften this dull, pale woe;
We must sit and face it with dry, sad eyes.
If we seek to hold it, the swifter joy flies –
We can only be passive, and let it go.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Inspiration

Not like a daring, bold, aggressive boy,
Is inspiration, eager to pursue,
But rather like a maiden, fond, yet coy,
Who gives herself to him who best doth woo.

Once she may smile, or thrice, thy soul to fire,
In passing by, but when she turns her face,
Thou must persist and seek her with desire,
If thou wouldst win the favor of her grace.

And if, like some winged bird she cleaves the air,
And leaves thee spent and stricken on the earth,
Still must thou strive to follow even there,
That she may know thy valor and thy worth.

Then shall she come unveiling all her charms,
Giving thee joy for pain, and smiles for tears;
Then shalt thou clasp her with possessing arms,
The while she murmurs music in thine ears.

But ere her kiss has faded from thy cheek,
She shall flee from thee over hill and glade,
So must thou seek and ever seek and seek
For each new conquest of this phantom maid.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Song Of The Spirit

Too sweet and too subtle for pen or for tongue
In phrases unwritten and measures unsung,
As deep and as strange as the sounds of the sea,
Is the song that my spirit is singing to me.

In the midnight and tempest when forest trees shiver,
In the roar of the surf, and the rush of the river,
In the rustle of leaves and the fall of the rain,
And on the low breezes I catch the refrain.

From the vapours that frame and envelop the earth,
And beyond, from the realms where my spirit had birth,
From the mists of the land and the fogs of the sea,
For ever and ever the songs come to me.

I know not its wording - its import I know -
For the rhythm is broken, the measure runs low,
When vexed or allured by the things of this life
My soul is merged into its pleasures or strife.

When up to the hill tops of beauty and light
My soul like a lark in the ether takes flight,
And the white gates of heaven shine brighter and nearer,
The song of the spirit grows sweeter and clearer.

Up, up to the realms where no mortal has trod -
Into space and infinity near to my God -
With whiteness, and silence, and beautiful things,
I am bourne when the voice of eternity sings.

When once in the winds or the dropp of the rain
Thy spirit shall listen and hear the refrain,
Thy soul shall soar up like a bird on the breeze,
And the things that have pleased thee will never more please.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Love Will Wane

When your love begins to wane,
Spare me from the cruel pain
Of all speech that tells me so -
Spare me words, for I shall know,

By the half-averted eyes,
By the breast that no more sighs
By the rapture I shall miss
From your strangely-altered kiss;

By the arms that still enfold
But have lost their clinging hold,
And, too willing, let me go,
I shall know, love, I shall know.

Bitter will the knowledge be,
Bitterer than death to me.
Yet, 'twill come to me some day,
For it is sad world's way.

Make no vows - vows cannot bind
Changing hearts of wayward mind.
Men grow weary of a bliss
Passionate and fond as this.

Love will wane. But I shall know,
If you do not tell me so.
Know it, tho' you smile and say,
That you love me more each day.

Know it by the inner sight
That forever sees aright.
Words could not but increase my woe,
And without them, I shall know.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Independence Ode

Columbia, fair queen in your glory!
Columbia, the pride of the earth!
We crown you with song- wreath and story;
We honour the day of your birth!

The wrath of a king and his minions
You braved, to be free, on that day;
And the eagle sailed up on strong pinions,
And frightened the lion at bay.

Since the chains and the shackles are broken,
And citizens now replace slaves,
Since the hearts of your heros have spoken
How dear they held freedom - by graves.

Your beautiful banner is blotless
As it floats to the breezes unfurled,
And but for one blemish, all spotless
Is the record you show to the world.

Like a scar on the features of beauty,
Lies Utah, sin-cursed to the west.
Columbia! Columbia! your duty
Is to wipe out that stain with the rest!

Not only in freedom, and science,
And letters, should you lead the earth;
But let the earth learn your reliance
In honour and true moral worth.

When Liberty's torch shall be lighted,
Let her brightest most far-reaching rays
Discover no wrong thats unrighted -
Go challenge the jealous world's gaze!

Columbia, your star is ascending!
Columbia, all lands own your sway!
May your reign be as proud and unrending
As your glory is brilliant today.

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!

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

A Woman's Love

So vast the tide of Love within me surging,
It overflows like some stupendous sea,
The confines of the Present and To-be;
And 'gainst the Past's high wall I feel it urging,
As it would cry "Thou too shalt yield to me!"

All other loves my supreme love embodies;
I would be she on whose soft bosom nursed
Thy clinging infant lips to quench their thirst;
She who trod close to hidden worlds where God is,
That she might have, and hold, and see thee first.

I would be she who stirred the vague fond fancies,
Of thy still childish heart; who through bright days
Went sporting with thee in the old-time plays,
And caught the sunlight of thy boyish glances
In half-forgotten and long-buried Mays.

Forth to the end, and back to the beginning,
My love would send its inundating tide,
Wherein all landmarks of thy past should hide.
If thy life's lesson must be learned through sinning,
My grieving virtue would become thy guide.

For I would share the burden of thy errors,
So when the sun of our brief life had set,
If thou didst walk in darkness and regret,
E'en in that shadowy world of nameless terrors,
My soul and thine should be companions yet.

And I would cross with thee those troubled oceans
Of dark remorse whose waters are despair:
All things my jealous reckless love would dare,
So that thou mightst not recollect emotions
In which it did not have a part and share.

There is no limit to my love's full measure,
Its spirit gold is shaped by earth's alloy;
I would be friend and mother, mate and toy,
I'd have thee look to me for every pleasure,
And in me find all memories of joy.

Yet though I love thee in such selfish fashion,
I would wait on thee, sitting at thy feet,
And serving thee, if thou didst deem it meet.
And couldst thou give me one fond hour of passion,
I'd take that hour and call my life complete.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Life Is A Privilege

Life is a privilege. Its youthful days
Shine with the radiance of continuous Mays.
To live, to breathe, to wonder and desire,
To feed with dreams the heart’s perpetual fire,
To thrill with virtuous passions, and to glow
With great ambitions – in one hour to know
The depths and heights of feeling – God! in truth,
How beautiful, how beautiful is youth!

Life is a privilege. Like some rare rose
The mysteries of the human mind unclose.
What marvels lie in the earth, and air, and sea!
What stores of knowledge wait our opening key!
What sunny roads of happiness lead out
Beyond the realms of indolence and doubt!
And what large pleasures smile upon and bless
The busy avenues of usefulness!

Life is a privilege. Thought the noontide fades
And shadows fall along the winding glades,
Though joy-blooms wither in the autumn air,
Yet the sweet scent of sympathy is there.
Pale sorrow leads us closer to our kind,
And in the serious hours of life we find
Depths in the souls of men which lend new worth
And majesty to this brief span of earth.

Life is a privilege. If some sad fate
Sends us alone to seek the exit gate,
If men forsake us and as shadows fall,
Still does the supreme privilege of all
Come in that reaching upward of the soul
To find the welcoming Presence at the goal,
And in the Knowledge that our feet have trod
Paths that led from, and must wind back, to God.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox
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