Ella Wheeler Wilcox
In the fair morning of his life,
When his pure heart lay in his breast,
Panting, with all that wild unrest
To plunge into the great world's strife
That fills young hearts with mad desire,
He saw a sunset. Red and gold
The burning billows surged and rolled,
And upward tossed their caps of fire.
He looked. And as he looked the sight
Sent from his soul through breast and brain
Such intense joy, it hurt like pain.
His heart seemed bursting with delight.
So near the Unknown seemed, so close
He might have grasped it with his hand.
He felt his inmost soul expand,
As sunlight will expand a rose.
One day he heard a singing strain--
A human voice, in bird-like trills.
He paused, and little rapture-rills
Went trickling downward through each vein.
And in his heart the whole day long,
As in a temple veiled and dim,
He kept and bore about with him
The beauty of that singer's song.
And then? But why relate what then?
His smoldering heart flamed into fire--
He had his one supreme desire,
And plunged into the world of men.
For years queen Folly held her sway.
With pleasures of the grosser kind
She fed his flesh and drugged his mind,
Till, shamed, he sated turned away.
He sought his boyhood's home. That hour
Triumphant should have been, in sooth,
Since he went forth an unknown youth,
And came back crowned with wealth and power.
The clouds made day a gorgeous bed;
He saw the splendor of the sky
With unmoved heart and stolid eye;
He knew only West was red.
Then suddenly a fresh young voice
Rose, bird-like, from some hidden place,
He did not even turn his face;
It struck him simply as a noise.
He trod the old paths up and down.
Their ruch-hued leaves by Fall winds whirled--
How dull they were--how dull the world--
Dull even in the pulsing town.
O! worst of punishments, that brings
A blunting of all finer sense,
A loss of feelings keen, intense,
And dulls us to the higher things.
O! penalty most dire, most sure,
Swift following after gross delights,
That we no more see beauteous sights,
Or hear as hear the good and pure.
O! shape more hideous and more dread
Than Vengeance takes in creed-taught minds,
This certain doom that blunts and blinds,
And strikes the holiest feelings dead.
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Comments about this poem (Two Sunsets by Ella Wheeler Wilcox )
Still I Rise
The Road Not Taken
If You Forget Me
Edgar Allan Poe
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
A Dream Within A Dream
Edgar Allan Poe
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
(28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827)
- The Black Child, Matthias Pantaleon
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- Dreams, Langston Hughes
- I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
- If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
- A Dream Within A Dream, Edgar Allan Poe
- Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
- Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost