Ella Wheeler Wilcox (5 November 1850 - 30 October 1919 / Johnstown Center / Rock County / Wisconsin)
Life's Lesson Book
Life is a ponderous lesson-book, and Fate
The teacher. When I came to love's fair leaf
My teacher turned the page and bade me wait.
'Learn first,' she said, 'love's grief';
And o'er and o'er through many a long tomorrow
She kept me conning that sad page of sorrow.
Cruel the task; and yet it was not vain.
Now the great book of life I know by heart.
In that one lesson of love's loss and pain
Fate doth the whole impart.
For, by the depths of woe, the mind can measure
The beauteous unscaled summits of love's pleasure.
Now, with the book of life upon her knee,
Fate sits! the unread page of love's delight
By her firm hand is half concealed from me,
And half revealed to sight.
Ah Fate! be kind! so well I learned love's sorrow,
Give me its full delight to learn tomorrow.
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