First Lines of Ella Wheeler Wilcox
A baby went to heaven while it slept,A humble wild-rose, pink and slender,A mighty monarch in the days of oldA poet toiled over a song, for the maidA poet wandered the city street,A queen of indolence and idle grace,A robin up in the linden-treeA rose in my garden, the sweetest and fairest,A soul immortal, Time, God everywhere,A truth that has long lain buriedA wild Pink nestled in a garden bed,A yacht from its harbor ropes pulled free,A year that was solemn, and sad and strange,About a holy shrine or sacred place,Above the din of commerce, above the clamor and rattle,Across the sodden field we gaze,After the battles are over,After the summer glory has departed,After you went away, our lovely roomAll day the trees were moaningAll hail the dawn of a new day breaking,All in the dark we grope along,All love that has not friendship for its base,All suddenly between me and the light,All that I ask," says Love, "is just to standAll through the Castle of High-bred Ease,An infant lies in her cradle bed:An infant wailing in nameless fear;As a mother who dies in travail --As I came through the Valley of Despair,As long as men have eyes wherewith to gaze,As the dead year is clasped by a dead December,As the old year sinks down in Time's ocean,As we gaze up life's slope, as we gazeAs we hurry away to the end, my friend,As we journey along, with a laugh and a song,As we speed out of youth's sunny stationAs when the old moon lighted by the tenderAs yon great Sun in his supreme conditionAstronomers may gaze the heavens o'er,Back in the box by the curtains shaded,Back on its golden hingesBatter in the home place,Be not content -- contentment means inaction;Before this scarf was faded,Beside us in our seeking after pleasures,Between the acts while the orchestra playedBetween the curtains of snowy lace,Between the shore and the distant sky-lands,Bohemia, o'er thy unatlassed bordersChanged? Yes, I will confess it - I have changed.
Cinnamon Roses!she said,
how fair,Cold is the wind, that blows up from the river.Columbia, large-hearted and tender,
Come closer,she said, "my sister,Come, cuddle your head on my shoulder, dear,Could I but measure my strength, by my love,Day's sweetest moments are at dawn.Dear God! there is no sadder fate in life,Dear love, where the red lillies blossomed and grew,Dear, when you lift your gentle heart in prayer,Did you see Florabelle? has she passed you this morning?Distrust that man who tells you to distrust;Do you remember the name I wore --Don't look for the flaws as you go through lifeDrop down the crimson curtains,Dying? I am not dying. Are you mad?Each new invention doubles our worries an' our troubles,Every morning, as I walk downFair Freedom's ship, too long adrift --False! Good God, I am dreaming!Farther apart, each day, our lives are drifting;For ever stars are wingingFriend of my youth, let us talk of old times;From the soul of a man who was homelessGather them out of the valley --Give us that grand word
womanonce again,God bless the hero of my song!God sent us here to make mistakes,Good-bye - yes, I am going.Good-bye to the cradle, the dear wooden cradleHadst thou a ship, in whose vast hold lay storedHave you heard of the Valley of Babyland,He rose, and passing, paused by her.He said he loved me! Then he called my hairHeigh ho! well, the season's over!Here, in the heart of the world,High o'er the clouds a Sunbeam shone,Ho! sportsman Time, whose chargers fleetHow baseless is the mightiest earthly pride,How can I let my youth go by?How can I wait until you come to me?How does Love speak?However skilled and strong art thou, my foe,However the battle is ended,Hung on the casement that looked o'er the main,I am a river flowing from God's seaI am coming, coming to thee,I am tired to-night, and something,I am walking in the darkness:I care not who were vicious back of me,I dwell in the western inland,I gave a beggar from my little storeI have lived this life as the skeptic lives it,I have written this day down in my heartI hear the sound of the reapers,I heard a low sound, like a troubled soul praying:I heard a strain of music in the street --I hold it true that thoughts are thingsI knew it the first of the summer,I knew that a baby was hid in that house,I know as my life grows olderI know not whence I came,I know not where to-morrow's paths may wend,I know two women, and one is chasteI left the farm when mother died and changed my place of dwellingI list your prattle, baby boy,I may not reach the heights I seek,I met a young girl on the street;I own the charms of lovely Nature; still,I prayed for riches, and achieved success:I said, last winter, "When the grasses grow,I saw on the hills of the morningI saw them sitting in the shade;I see the tall church steeples,I shall not forget you. The years may be tender,I sit at my cottage window,I sit in the twilight dim,I think I hear the sound of horses' feet,I think I never passed so sad an hour,I think man's great capacity for painI think the leaf would soonerI think true love is something like a tree;I told you the winter would go, love,I tread the paths of earlier timesI walked to-day, in the grassy dell,I want more lives in which to loveI was out promenading one fine summer day,I was smoking a cigarette;I will be true. Mad stars forsake their courses,I will not doubt, though all my ships at seaI will paint you a sign, rum seller,I'd rather have my verses winIf all the end of this continuous strivingIf I count my life by the ticking of clocks,If I should die, to-day,If I were sent to representIf one poor burdened toiler o'er life's road,If we sit down at set of sun,If, when I die, I must be buried, letI'm no reformer; for I see more lightImmortal life is something to be earned,In God's vast wisdom, infinite and grand --In golden youth when seems the earthIn his great cushioned chair by the fenderIn its giving and its getting,In nature's bright blossoms not always reposesIn that great journey of the stars through spaceIn the dawn of the day when the sea and the earthIn the long run fame finds the deserving man.In the midnight of darkness and terror,In the rapture of life and of living,In the warm yellow smile of the morning,In through the kitchen, the boys came trooping:Into the mellow light of the cloudless autumn day,Is anyone sad in the world, I wonder?It is a common fate - a woman's lot --It is done! in the fire's fitful flashes,It is easy to sit in the sunshineIt is soiled, and quite passé,It is something too strange to understand,It is well to be free in conversing,It may be, yet I have not found it so.It seemeth such a little way to meJust when all hope had perished in my soul,Keep out of the Past! for its highwaysLaugh, and the world laughs with you;Let no man pray that he know not sorrow,Let the wild red-rose bloom. Though not to theeLet there be many windows to your soul,Let those slander fame who will --Life has its shadows, as well as its sun;Life is a Shylock; always it demandsLike an opera-house is the world, I ween,Like some reformer, who with mien austere,Like some school master, kind in being stern,Linger, linger, oh royal year!Lo! here's another corpse exhumed!Long have the poets vaunted, in their lays,Long, long ago, ere yet our race began,Lost rays of light that wandered off aloneLove is the centre and circumference;Love much. Earth has enough of bitter in it;Love thyself last. Look near, behold thy dutyLove, in the glow of the sunset,Love, when we met, 'twas like two planets meeting,Luck is the tuning of our inmost thoughtMake thy life better than thy work. Too oftMan has explored all countries and all lands,Maybe this is fun, sitting in the sun,Maybe this is fun, sitting in the sun,Men have outgrown the worthless creedMethought a great wind swept across the earth,Mother says, "Be in no hurry,My heart and soul are all to tired to tell;My life has been a summer day complete,My life's long radiant Summer halts at last,My love is fair as the morn;My Love was a poor man's daughter,My soul is like a poor caged bird to-night,Nay, seer, I do not doubt thy mystic lore,Necessity, whom long I deemed my foe,New Year, I look straight in your eyes --Nine o'clock, and the sun shines as yellow and warm,No classes here! Why, that is idle talk,No joy for which thy hungering heart has panted,No mortal yet has measured his full force.Not always those who walk on steadily,Not like a daring, bold, aggressive boy,Not only sun-kissed heights are fair. BelowNot till we meet with Love in all his beauty,Now God be with the men who standO yes, I love you, and with all my heart;O! you who never bend the knee,Of all the blessings which my life has knownOften, when I am alone,Oh households wherein skeletons abide!Oh many a duel the world has seenOh, do you remember that night, long ago,Oh, I know a certain lady who is reckoned with the good,Oh, man, with your wonderful dower,Oh, you who read some song that I have sung --On great cathedral window I have seenOn the river of life, as I float along,On the white throat of the useless passionOnce in a while, in this world so strange,Once Pain beat on my heart,Once there was a boat, locked fast to a shore,Once, when the summer lay on the hilltops,One bitter time of mourning, I remember,One looks behind him to some vanished timeOne night Nurse Sleep held out her handOne night was full of rapture and delight --Our lives are songs. God writes the words,Our thoughts are molding unmade spheres,Out from the harbour of youth's bayPain can go guised as joy, dross pass for gold,Passion is what the sun feels for the earthRegret with streaming eyes doth seem alwayRoses and Lilies, both are sweet;Said Life to Death, "Methinks if I were youSaid the great machine of iron and wood,She gave her soul and body for a carriage,She rose up, in the early dawn,She sits beside the window. All who passShe stood beside me while I gave an order for a bonnet.She waited in a rose-hued room;She was a light and wanton maid:She was my dream's fulfilment and my joy,She woke as one wakes from a deepShe's the jauntiest of creatures, she's the daintiest of missesShould some great angel say to me tomorrow,Show me the way that leads to the true life.Sit still, I say, and dispense with heroicsSitting alone by the window,Sitting and watching the fire-light fallSmile a little, smile a little,So many gods, so many creeds,So vast the tide of love within me surging,So, thou hast the art, good dame, thou swearest,Some cawing Crows, a hooting Owl,Some have robes, of silk and velvet,Somebody's baby was buried to-day --Something is missing from the balmy spring.Sometime fame shall come to me;Sometimes I wish the railroads all were torn out,Sometimes she seems so helpless and so mild,Sometimes we mortals, writhing in bitter anguish,Sometimes when I am all alone,Sometimes when I have dropped to sleep,Sometimes, when I am toil-worn and aweary,Somewhere there is a spot of ground,Straight through my heart this fact to-day,Sun in my lattice, and sun on the seaTalk happiness. The world is sad enoughThat melancholy phrase
It might have been,The age is too diffusive. Time and ForceThe artist looks down on his canvass,The band was playing a waltz-quadrille,The birds laugh loud and long togetherThe bold young Autumn came riding alongThe crimson life-drops from a virgin heartThe cunningest thing that a baby can doThe danger of war, with its havoc of life,The day will dawn, when one of us shall hearkenThe days flow on, and on,The fault of the age is a mad endeavourThe fields were bleak and sodden.The first flower of the spring is not so fairThe gate was thrown open, I rode out aloneThe God of the day has vanishedThe harsh king, Winter, sat upon the hills,The hurry of the times affects us soThe mighty forces of mysterious spaceThe New Year wedded the winter --The pain we have to suffer seems so broad,The pessimistic locust, last to leaf,The quiet graves of our country's bravesThe shadows drop down o'er the fields tinged with brown,The splendid discontent of GodThe stork flew over a town one day,The strings of my heart were strung by Pleasure,The sun may be clouded, yet ever the sunThe sun rode high in a cloudless skyThe Sunbeam loved the Moonbeam,The sweet maid, Day, has pillowed her headThe sweetest songs that were ever sung,The tears of fallen women turned to iceThe time has come when men with hearts and brainsThe times are not degenerate. Man's faithThe uses of sorrow I comprehendThe winds come from the West,The woman he loved, while he dreamed of her,The world has outlived all its passion,There are ghosts in the room,There are songs enough for the heroThere are two angels, messengers of light,There are two kinds of people on earth to-day;There comes a time to every mortal being,There is a picture, that I sometimes see,There is a story of a beauteous land,There is much that makes me sorry as I journey down life's way.There is no thing we cannot overcome.There is nothing, I hold, in the way of workThere lies in the centre of each man's heartThere never was success so nobly gained,There sat two glasses filled to the brim,There was a flame, oh! such a tiny flame --There was a man, it was said one time,There's a gaping rent in the curtainThere's many a house of grandeur,These agent men! these agent men!These quiet autumn days,They drift down the hall together;They stood at the garden gate.This game of life is a dangerous play,This is the way of it, wide world over,This world is a sad, sad place I know;Thou dost not know it! but to hearThough thy cheek be fair, as the roses are,Though with the gods the world is cumbered,Thoughts do not need the wings of wordsThree days agone, and she was here:Through all the weary, hot midsummer time,Through valley and hamlet and city,Throughout these mellow autumn days,Time's finger on the dial of my life'Tis said, when we shall go across the river,To yearn for what we have not had, to sitTrust in thine own untried capacityTwixt what thou art, and what thou wouldst be, letUnder the moon two lovers walked --Under the snow in the dark and the cold,Under the willow, you and IUp in the cosy chamber,Upon a couch all robed by careful handsVast was the wealth I carried in life's pack --Walking to-day on the Common,Wandered o'er the vast green plains of youth,War is destructive, wasteful, brutal, yetWas, Is, and Yet-to-BeWe must not force events, but rather makeWe sigh above historic pages,We walk on starry fields of whiteWe walk upon the sea-shore, you and I,We were both of us -- ay, we were both of us there,We women teach our little sons how wrongWell, Mabel, 'tis over and ended --What a terrible night! Does the Night, I wonder --What do you think Red RobinWhat does our country need? Not armies standingWhat glorious times we have had together,What is flirtation? Really,What sounds so sweet as the glad words of greeting?Whatever a man may think or feelWhatever is a cruel wrong,Whatever your work and whatever its worth,When Christmas bells are swinging above the fields of snow,When from dawn till noon seems one long day,When from our mortal visionWhen I am dead, if some chastened one,When I pass from earth away,When my blood flows calm as a purling river,When on the crowded thoroughfare,When Sleep drops down beside my Love and me,When the glad spring time walked over the border,When Tom and I were married, we took a little flat;When Venus, mother and maker of blisses,When you go away, my friend,Where have they gone to -- the little girlsWherefore in dreams are sorrows borne anew,While forced to dwell apart from thy dear face,Who thinks how desolate and strangeWhy dost thou shrink from my approach, O Man?With noiseless steps good goes its way;With each strong thought, with every earnest longingWith ever some wrong to be righting,Yea, she and I have broken God's command,You call me an angel of love and of light,You know that oasis, fresh and fairYou never can tell when you send a word,You remember the hall on the corner?You say that your nature is double; that lifeYou will be what you will to be;You will forget me. The years are so tender,