by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Necessity, whom long I deemed my foe,
Thou cold, unsmiling, and hard-visaged dame,
Now I no longer see thy face, I know
Thou wert my friend beyond reproach or blame.
My best achievements and the fairest flights
Of my winged fancy were inspired by thee;
Thy stern voice stirred me to the mountain heights;
Thy importunings bade me do and be.
But for thy breath, the spark of living fire
Within me might have smouldered out at length;
But for thy lash which would not let me tire,
I never would have measured my own strength.
But for thine ofttimes merciless control
Upon my life, that nerved me past despair,
I never should have dug deep in my soul
And found the mine of treasures hidden there.
And though we walk divided pathways now,
And I no more may see thee, to the end,
I weave this little chaplet for thy brow,
That other hearts may know, and hail thee friend.
Source:Poems of Ella Wheeler Wilcox
W.P. Nimmo, Hay, and Mitchell, Edinburgh