Ella Wheeler Wilcox

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

The Coquette


Alone she sat with her accusing heart,

That, like a restless comrade frightened sleep,

And every thought that found her, left a dart

That hurt her so, she could not even weep.

Her heart that once had been a cup well filled

With love's red wine, save for some drops of gall

She knew was empty; though it had not spilled

Its sweets for one, but wasted them on all.

She stood upon the grave of her dead truth,

And saw her soul's bright armor red with rust,

And knew that all the riches of her youth

Were Dead Sea apples, crumbling into dust.

Love that had turned to bitter, biting scorn,

Hearthstones despoiled, and homes made desolate,

Made her cry out that she was ever born,

To loathe her beauty and to curse her fate

Submitted: Friday, April 02, 2010

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