Treasure Island

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

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

Sign-Board


I will paint you a sign, rumseller,
And hang it above your door;
A truer and better signboard
Than ever you had before.
I will paint with the skill of a master,
And many shall pause to see
This wonderful piece of painting,
So like the reality.


I will paint yourself, rumseller,
As you wait for that fair young boy,
Just in the morning of manhood,
A mother's pride and joy.
He has no thought of stopping,
But you greet him with a smile,
And you seem so blithe and friendly,
That he pauses to chat awhile.


I will paint you again, rumseller,
I will paint you as you stand,
With a foaming glass of liquor
Extended in your hand.
He wavers, but you urge him-
Drink, pledge me just this one!
And he takes the glass and drains it,
And the hellish work is done.


And next I will paint a drunkard-
Only a year has flown,
But into that loathsome creature
The fair young boy has grown.
The work was sure and rapid.
I will paint him as he lies
In a torpid, drunken slumber,
Under the wintry skies.


I will paint the form of the mother
As she kneels at her darling's side,
Her beautiful boy that was dearer
Than all the world beside.
I will paint the shape of a coffin,
Labeled with one word-'lost,'
I will paint all this, rumseller,
And will paint it free of cost.


The sin and the shame and the sorrow,
The crime and the want and the woe
That are born there in your workshop,
No hand can paint, you know.
But I'll paint you a sign, rumseller,
And many shall pause to view
This wonderful swinging signboard,
So terribly, fearfully true.

Submitted: Friday, April 02, 2010

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (Sign-Board by Ella Wheeler Wilcox )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

Top Poems

  1. Phenomenal Woman
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  5. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  6. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  7. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  8. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  9. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
    Maya Angelou
  10. A Dream Within A Dream
    Edgar Allan Poe

New Poems

  1. Goodbye, Richard Lam
  2. Vibes, Stratis Havarti
  3. Pruthibi O Mu, gajanan mishra
  4. IRAQ 2014, Tony Ogunlowo
  5. The world and I, gajanan mishra
  6. I LOVE, MOHAMMAD SKATI
  7. ।। শরতের দিন ।।, Rahman Henry
  8. ।। শরতের দিন ।।, Rahman Henry
  9. ।। শরতের দিন ।।, Rahman Henry
  10. AUGUST IS GOING TO EXPIRE, MOHAMMAD SKATI

Poem of the Day

poet Alfred Lord Tennyson

It little profits that an idle king,
By this still hearth, among these barren crags,
Match'd with an aged wife, I mete and dole
Unequal laws unto a savage race,
...... Read complete »

   
[Hata Bildir]