Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Nov. 5, 1850 - Oct. 30, 1919



by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

I sit in the twilight dim,
At the close of an idle day,
And list to the sweet, soft hymn
That rises far away
And dies on the evening air.
Oh all day long they sing their song
Who toil in the valley there.

But never a song sing I,
Sitting with folded hands.
The hours pass me by,
Dropping their golden sands.
And I list from day to day
To the tick, tick, tock, of the old brown clock
Ticking my life away.

And I see the sunlight fade,
And I see the night come on;
And then, in the gloom and shade,
I weep for the day that is gone.
Weep, and wail, in pain,
For the misspent day that has flown away
And will not come again.

Another morning beams,
But I forget the last,
And sit in my idle dreams
Till the day is overpast.
Oh the toiler's heart is glad
When the day is gone and the night comes on,
But mine is sore, and sad.

For I dare not look behind:
No shining, golden sheaves
Can I ever hope to find
Nothing but withered leaves.
Ah! dreams are very sweet!
But will it please if only these
I lay at the Master's feet.

And what will the Master say,
To dreams and nothing more?
Oh idler all the day!
Think, ere thy life is o'er! --
And when the day grows late,
Oh soul of sin, will He let you in
There at the pearly gate?

Oh idle heart beware!
On, to the field of strife!
On to the valley there,
And live a useful life.
Up! do not wait a day,
For the old brown clock, with its tick, tick, tock,
Is ticking your life away.



Copyright 1873
Hauser & Storey, Milwaukee