Treasure Island

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

(5 November 1850 - 30 October 1919 / Johnstown Center / Rock County / Wisconsin)

A Man's Repentance


To-night when I came from the club at eleven,
Under the gaslight I saw a face-
A woman's face! and I swear to heaven
It looked like the ghastly ghost of-Grace!


And Grace? why, Grace was fair; and I tarried,
And loved her a season as we men do.
And then-but pshaw! why, of course, she is married,
Has a husband, and doubtless, a babe or two.


She was perfectly calm on the day we parted;
She spared me a scene, to my great surprise.
She wasn't the kind to be broken-hearted,
I remember she said, with a spark in her eyes.


I was tempted, I know, by her proud defiance,
To make good my promises there and then.
But the world would have called it a mésalliance!
I dreaded the comments and sneers of men.


So I left her to grieve for a faithless lover,
And to hide her heart from the cold world's sight
As women do hide them, the wide earth over;
My God! was it Grace that I saw to-night?


I thought of her married, and often with pity,
A poor man's wife in some dull place.
And now to know she is here in the city,
Under the gaslight, and with that face!


Yet I knew it at once, in spite of the daubing
Of paint and powder, and she knew me;
She drew a quick breath that was almost sobbing,
And shrank in the shade so I should not see.


There was hell in her eyes! She was worn and jaded;
Her soul is at war with the life she has led.
As I looked on that face so strangely faded,
I wonder God did not strike me dead.


While I have been happy and gay and jolly,
Received by the very best people in town,
That girl whom I led in the way to folly,
Has gone on recklessly down and down.


Two o'clock, and no sleep has found me.
That face I saw in the street-lamp's light
Peers everywhere out from the shadows around me-
I know how a murderer feels to-night!

Submitted: Friday, April 02, 2010

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (A Man's Repentance by Ella Wheeler Wilcox )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

Top Poems

  1. Phenomenal Woman
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  5. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  6. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  7. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  8. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  9. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
    Maya Angelou
  10. A Dream Within A Dream
    Edgar Allan Poe

New Poems

  1. TIME WEIGHS HEAVY, Colin Ian Jeffery
  2. My Earth My Love, Akhtar Jawad
  3. Oinkabye - Lincoln Park Zoo, Ima Ryma
  4. Nëse ti më do me të vërtetë., skender iljaz braka
  5. The rush to nowere, michael hagwood
  6. LOVE IS A JOURNEY 10 WORD, Beryl Dov
  7. BLAME, Beryl Dov
  8. Great Nuakhai Greet, Pintu Mahakul
  9. The City Sleeps, michael hagwood
  10. POET'S ODE TO HIS WASTEPAPER BASKET, Beryl Dov

Poem of the Day

poet Alfred Lord Tennyson

It little profits that an idle king,
By this still hearth, among these barren crags,
Match'd with an aged wife, I mete and dole
Unequal laws unto a savage race,
...... Read complete »

   
[Hata Bildir]