Ella Wheeler Wilcox

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

What I Have Seen #2 - Poem by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

I saw a maid with her chivalrous lover:
He was both tender and true;
He kissed her lips, vowing over and over,
'Darling, I worship you.'
Sing, sing, bird of the spring,
Tell of the flowers the summer will bring.

I saw the maiden, sweet, loving, confiding,
Smile when he whispered 'Mine,'
Saw her lips meet his with no word of chiding,
Though his breath fumed with wine.
Wail, wail, Nightingale,
Sing of a mourner bowed and pale.

I saw the lover and maid at the altar,
Bound by the bands divine;
Heard the responses-they fail not nor falter-
Saw the guests pledge in wine.
Howl, howl, ominous Owl,
Shriek of the terrible tempest's scowl.

I saw the drunkard's wife weeping in anguish,
Saw her struck down by a blow;
I saw the husband in prison-cells languish-
Thus ends the tale of woe.
Shriek, shriek, O Raven! speak
Of the terrible midnight, dark and bleak.

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Poem Submitted: Friday, April 2, 2010

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