Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Ah yes, I love you, and with all my heart;
Just as a weaker woman loves her own,
Better than I love my beloved art,
Which, until you came, reigned royally, alone,
My king, my master. Since I saw your face
I have dethroned it, and you hold that place.
I am as weak as other women are –
Your frown can make the whole world like a tomb
Your smile shines brighter than the sun, by far;
Sometimes I think there is not space or room
In all the earth for such a love as mine,
And it soars up to breathe in realms divine.
I know that your desertion or neglect
Could break my heart, as women’s hearts do break;
If my wan days had nothing to expect
From your love’s splendour, all joy would forsake
The chambers of my soul. Yes this is true.
And yet, and yet – one thing I keep from you.
There is a subtle part of me, which went
Into my long pursued and worshipped art;
Though your great love fills me with such content,
No other love finds room now in my heart.
Yet that rare essence was my art’s alone.
Thank God, you cannot grasp it; ‘tis mine own.
Thank God, I say, for while I love you so,
With that vast love, as passionate as tender,
I feel an exultation as I know
I have not made you a complete surrender.
Here is my body; bruise it, if you will,
And break my heart; I have that something still.
You cannot grasp it. Seize the breath of morn,
Or bind the perfume of the rose as well.
God put it in my soul when I was born;
It is not mine to give away, or sell,
Or offer up on any alter shrine.
It was my art’s; and when not art’s, ‘tis mine.
For Love’s sake, I can put the art away,
Or anything which stands ‘twixt me and you,
But that strange essence God bestowed, I say,
To permeate the work He gave to do:
And it cannot be drained, dissolved, or sent
Through any channel, save the one He meant.
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 (Individuality by Ella Wheeler Wilcox )
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
(28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
Percy Bysshe Shelley
(27 October 1914 – 9 November 1953)
(30 December 1865 – 18 January 1936)
- The Saddest Poem, Pablo Neruda
- Daffodils, William Wordsworth
- Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- A Child's Christmas in Wales, Dylan Thomas
- Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
- If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
- Mistletoe, Walter de la Mare
Poem of the Day
- Christmas Midnight - Christ - Mitternacht, Johann Joseph Clahsen
- Holy Night - Weihnacht, Johann Joseph Clahsen
- Rainbow & Sun, Luo Zhihai
- Your Possible Futures, Joseph Archer
- Winters Descent, Babbling Brookes
- Wintersummertime, Joseph Archer
- The ComeBack, Asma Riaz Khan
- Dreams, Sergio D'Amico
- Untitled (We Were On A Train), Joseph Archer
- My Sunprincess, Neela Nath