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- Poems of Cheer - 1/17 -


by Ella Wheeler Wilcox


Worth while The House of Life A Song of Life Prayer In the Long Run As you go through Life Two Sunsets Unrest Artist's life Nothing but Stones Inevitable The Ocean of Song "It might have been" Momus, God of Laughter I Dream The Sonnet The Past A Dream Uselessness Will Winter Rain Life Burdened Let them go Five Kisses Retrospection Helena Nothing Remains Comrades What Gain? To the West The Land of Content Warning After the Battles are over And they are dumb Night All for me Into Space Through Dim Eyes The Punished Half Fledged The Year The Unattained In the crowd Life and I Guerdon Snowed Under "Leudemanns-on-the-river" Little Blue Hood No Spring Midsummer A Reminiscence A Girl's Faith Two Slipping Away Is it done? A Leaf Aesthetic Poems of the Week Ghosts Fleeing away All mad Hidden Gems By-and-bye Over the May Hill Foes Friendship Two sat down Bound and free Aquileia Wishes for a little girl Romney My Home To marry or not to marry? An Afternoon River and Sea What happens? Possession

This Volume contains the poems published under the title "Poems of Life," with the exception of about half a dozen, which appear in my other volumes. I have also added a few new verses.

ELLA WHEELER WILCOX. April 12th, 1910.

I step across the mystic border-land, And look upon the wonder-world of Art. How beautiful, how beautiful its hills! And all its valleys, how surpassing fair!

The winding paths that lead up to the heights Are polished by the footsteps of the great. The mountain-peaks stand very near to God: The chosen few whose feet have trod thereon Have talked with Him, and with the angels walked.

Here are no sounds of discord--no profane Or senseless gossip of unworthy things - Only the songs of chisels and of pens, Of busy brushes, and ecstatic strains Of souls surcharged with music most divine. Here is no idle sorrow, no poor grief For any day or object left behind - For time is counted precious, and herein Is such complete abandonment of Self That tears turn into rainbows, and enhance The beauty of the land where all is fair. Awed and afraid, I cross the border-land. Oh, who am I, that I dare enter here Where the great artists of the world have trod - The genius-crowned aristocrats of Earth? Only the singer of a little song; Yet loving Art with such a mighty love I hold it greater to have won a place Just on the fair land's edge, to make my grave, Than in the outer world of greed and gain To sit upon a royal throne and reign.


It is easy enough to be pleasant When life flows by like a song, But the man worth while is the one who will smile When everything goes dead wrong. For the test of the heart is trouble, And it always comes with the years, And the smile that is worth the praises of earth Is the smile that shines through tears.

It is easy enough to be prudent When nothing tempts you to stray, When without or within no voice of sin Is luring your soul away; But it's only a negative virtue Until it is tried by fire, And the life that is worth the honour on earth Is the one that resists desire.

By the cynic, the sad, the fallen, Who had no strength for the strife, The world's highway is cumbered to-day - They make up the sum of life; But the virtue that conquers passion, And the sorrow that hides in a smile - It is these that are worth the homage on earth, For we find them but once in a while.


All wondering, and eager-eyed, within her portico I made my plea to Hostess Life, one morning long ago.

"Pray show me this great house of thine, nor close a single door; But let me wander where I will, and climb from floor to floor!

For many rooms, and curious things, and treasures great and small Within your spacious mansion lie, and I would see them all."

Then Hostess Life turned silently, her searching gaze on me, And with no word, she reached her hand, and offered up the key.

It opened first the door of Hope, and long I lingered there, Until I spied the room of Dreams, just higher by a stair.

And then a door whereon the one word "Happiness" was writ; But when I tried the little key I could not make it fit.

It turned the lock of Pleasure's room, where first all seemed so bright - But after I had stayed awhile it somehow lost its light.

And wandering down a lonely hall, I came upon a room Marked "Duty," and I entered it--to lose myself in gloom.

Along the shadowy halls I groped my weary way about, And found that from dull Duty's room, a door of Toil led out.

It led out to another door, whereon a crimson stain Made sullenly against the dark these words: "The Room of Pain."

But oh the light, the light, the light, that spilled down from above

Poems of Cheer - 1/17

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