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Ella Wheeler Wilcox

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

Bohemia


Bohemia, o'er thy unatlassed borders
How many cross, with half-reluctant feet,
And unformed fears of dangers and disorders,
To find delights, more wholesome and more sweet
Than ever yet were known to the "elite."

Herein can dwell no pretence and no seeming;
No stilted pride thrives in this atmosphere,
Which stimulates a tendency to dreaming.
The shores of the ideal world, from here,
Seem sometimes to be tangible and near.

We have no use for formal codes of fashion;
No "Etiquette f Courts" we emulate;
We know it needs sincerity and passion
To carry out the plans of God, or fate;
We do not strive to seem inanimate.

We call no time lost that we give to pleasure;
Life's hurrying river speeds to Death's great sea;
We cast out no vain plummet-line to measure
Imagined depths of that unknown To-Be,
But grasp the Now, and fill it full of glee.

All creeds have room here, and we all together
Devoutly worship at Art's sacred shrine;
But he who dwells once in thy golden weather,
Bohemia--sweet, lovely land of mine--
Can find no joy outside thy border-line.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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