Ella Wheeler Wilcox

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

Response - Poem by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

I said this morning, as I leaned and threw
My shutters open to the Spring's surprise,
'Tell me, O Earth, how is it that in you
Year after year the same fresh feelings rise?
How do you keep your young exultant glee?
No more those sweet emotions come to me.
'I note through all your fissures how the tide
Of healthful life goes leaping as of old;
Your royal dawns retain their pomp and pride;
Your sunsets lose no atom of their gold.
How can this wonder be?' My soul's fine ear
Leaned, listening, till a small voice answered near:
'My days lapse never over into night;
My nights encroach not on the rights of dawn.
I rush not breathless after some delight;
I waste no grief for any pleasure gone.
My July noons burn not the entire year.
Heart, hearken well!' 'Yes, yes; go on; I hear.'
'I do not strive to make my sunsets' gold
Pave all the dim and distant realms of space.
I do not bid my crimson dawns unfold
To lend the midnight a fictitious grace.
I break no law, for all God's laws are good.
Heart, hast thou heard?' 'Yes, yes; and understood.'

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Poem Submitted: Friday, April 2, 2010

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