Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Nov. 5, 1850 - Oct. 30, 1919


The South

by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

A queen of indolence and idle grace,
Robed in the vestments of a costly gown,
She turns the languor of her lovely face
Upon progression with a lazy frown.
Her throne is built upon a marshy down;
Malarial mosses wreathe her like old lace;
With slim crossed feet, unshod and bare and brown,
She sits indifferent to the world's swift race.
Across the seas there stalks an ogre grim:
Too languid she for even fear's alarms,
While frightened nations rally in defence,
She lifts her smiling Creole eyes to him,
And reaching out her shapely unwashed arms,
She clasps her rightful lover -- Pestilence.


Poems of Pleasure
Copyright 1900
Gay And Bird, 22 Bedford Street, Strand, London