Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Nov. 5, 1850 - Oct. 30, 1919


The Watcher (She gave her soul and body for a carriage,...)

by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

She gave her soul and body for a carriage,
And liveried lackey with a vacant grin,
And all the rest -- house, lands -- and called it marriage:
The bargain made, a husband was thrown in.

And now, despite her luxury, she's faded,
Gone is the bloom that was so fresh and bright;
She has the dark-rimmed eye, the countenance jaded,
Of one who watches with the sick at night.

Ah, heaven, she does! her sick heart, sick and dying,
Beyond the aid of human skill to save,
In that cold room her breast is hourly lying,
And her grim thoughts crowd near to dig its grave.

And yet it lingers, suffering and wailing,
As sick hearts will that feed upon despair
And that lone watcher, unrelieved, is paling
With vigils that no pitying soul can share.

Ah, lady! it is hardly what you thought it,
This life of luxury and social power;
You gave yourself as principal, and bought it,
But God extracts the interest hour by hour.


Poems of Sentiment
Copyright 1911
Gay And Hancock, Ltd., London