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Ella Wheeler Wilcox

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

At The Window


Every morning, as I walk down
From my dreary lodgings, toward the town,
I see at a window, near the street,
The face of a woman, fair and sweet,
With soft brown eyes and chestnut hair,
And red lips, warm with the kisses left there.
And she stands there as long as she can see
The man who walks just ahead of me.

At night, when I come from my office down town,
There stands a woman with eyes of brown,
Smiling out through the window blind
At the man who is walking just behind.

This fellow and I resemble each other -
At least so I'm told by one and another,
(Though I think I'm the handsomer by far, of the two,)
I don't know him at all, save to 'how d'ye do, '
Or nod when I meet him. I think he's at work
In a dry-goods store as a salaried clerk.
And I am a lawyer of high renown,
Having a snug bank account and an office down town, -
Yet I feel for that fellow an envious spite,
(it had no other name, so I speak it outright.)
There were symptoms before; but it's grown I believe,
Alarmingly fast, since one cloudy eve,
When passing the little house close by the street,
I heard the patter of two little feet,
And a figure in pink fluttered down to the gate,
And a sweet voice exclaimed, 'Oh, Will, you are late!
And, darling, I've watched at the window until -
Sir, I beg pardon! I thought it was Will! '

I passed on my way, with such a strange feeling
Down in my heart. My brain seemed to be reeling;
For, as it happens, my name, too, is Will,
And that voice crying 'darling, ' sent such an odd thrill
Throughout my whole being! 'How nice it would be, '
Thought I, 'If it were in reality me
That she's watched and longed for, instead of that lout! '
(It was envy that made me use that word, no doubt,)
For he's a fine fellow, and handsome! -(ahem!)
But then it's absurd that this rare little gem
Of a woman should stand there and look out for him
Till she brings on a headache, and makes her eyes dim,
While I go to lodgings, dull, dreary and bare,
With no one to welcome me, no one to care
If I'm early of late. No soft eyes of brown
To watch when I go to, or come from the town.
This bleak, wretched, bachelor life is about
(If I may be allowed the expression) played out.
Somewhere there must be, in the wide world, I think,
Another fair woman who dresses in pink,
And I know of a cottage, for sale, just below,
And it has a French window in front and - heigho!
I wonder how long, at the longest, 'twill be
Before, coming home from the office, I'll see
A nice little woman there, watching for me.

Submitted: Sunday, May 18, 2003

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