Ella Wheeler Wilcox

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

Three And One


Sometimes she seems so helpless and mild,
So full of sweet unreason and so weak,
So prone to some capricious whim or freak;
Now gay, now tearful, and now anger-wild,
By her strange moods of waywardness beguiled
And entertained, I stroke her pretty cheek,
And soothing words of peace and comfort speak;
And love her as a father loves a child.

Sometimes when I am troubled and sore pressed
On every side by fast advancing care,
She rises up with such majestic air,
I deem her some Olympian goddess-guest,
Who brings my heart new courage, hope, and rest.
In her brave eyes dwells balm for my despair,
And then I seem, while fondly gazing there,
A loving child upon my mothers breast.

Again, when her warm veins are full of life,
And youth’s volcanic tidal wave of fire
Sends the swift mercury of her pulses higher,
Her beauty stirs my heart to maddening strife,
And all the tiger in my blood is rife;
I love her with a lover’s fierce desire,
And find in her my dream, complete, entire,
Child, Mother, Mistress – all in one word – Wife.

Submitted: Sunday, May 25, 2003

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