Ella Wheeler Wilcox
I have been down in the darkest water-
Deep, deep down where no light could pierce;
Alone with the things that are bent on slaughter,
The mindless things that are cruel and fierce.
I have fought with fear in my wave-walled prison,
And begged for the beautiful boon of death;
But out of the billows my soul has risen
To glorify God with my latest breath.
There is no potion I have not tasted
Of all the bitters in life's large store;
And never a drop of the gall was wasted
That the lords of Karma saw fit to pour,
Though I cried as my Elder Brother before me,
'Father in heaven, let pass this cup!'
And the only response from the still skies o'er me
Was the brew held close for my lips to sup.
Yet I have grown strong on the gall Elysian,
And a courage has come that all things dares;
And I have been given an inner vision
Of the wonderful world where my dear one fares;
And I have had word from the great Hereafter-
A marvellous message that throbs with truth,
And mournful weeping has changed to laughter,
And grief has changed into the joy of youth.
Oh! there was a time when I supped sweet potions,
And lightly uttered profound belief,
Before I went down in the swirling oceans
And fought with madness and doubt and grief.
Now I am climbing the Hills of Knowledge,
And I speak unfearing, and say 'I know,'
Though it be not to church, or to book, or college,
But to God Himself that my debt I owe.
For the ceaseless prayer of a soul is heeded,
When the prayer asks only for light and faith;
And the faith and the light and the knowledge needed
Shall gild with glory the path to death.
Oh! heart of the world by sorrow shaken,
Hear ye the message I have to give:
The seal from the lips of the dead is taken,
And they can say to you, 'Lo! we live.'
Ella Wheeler Wilcox's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (Ascension by Ella Wheeler Wilcox )
Did you read them?
- Finnish, Leslie Philibert
- Life shall turn, hasmukh amathalal
- Introverted Victims, Aisling Chia
- No Sheep to Count, Aisling Chia
- Sunset, Kwai Chee Low
- The Immigrants, Romella Kitchens
- Dream of Music, Kwai Chee Low
- An Ode to Coffee, Kwai Chee Low
- ! Forum Personas (PH Forum Commentary), Alice Vedral Rivera
- Songs and Music, Kwai Chee Low
Poem of the Day
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
- Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
- On the Ning Nang Nong, Spike Milligan
- Invictus, William Ernest Henley
- Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
- Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
- A Thought, Robert Louis Stevenson
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
(31 October 1795 – 23 February 1821)
- Heather Burns
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
William Butler Yeats
(13 June 1865 – 28 January 1939)