Ella Wheeler Wilcox

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

What I Have Seen #4

I saw a youth, one of God's favored few,
Crowned with beauty, and talents, and health;
He had climbed the steep pathway, and cut his way through
To the summit of glory and wealth.
The day is breaking, hearts are waking,
Refreshed for the field of labor:
Arise, arise, like the king of the skies,
With a greeting for friend and neighbor.

He had toiled hard for the honors he'd won,
He had climbed over high rocks, forded streams;
Braved the bleak winter snow, the hot summer sun,
He was reaching the goal of his dreams.
The day hangs around us, the sun hath bound us
With fetters silken and yellow:
Flow, flow away, fleeting day,
Golden-hearted and mellow.

I saw the youth lift a mug to his mouth,
Drink the last drop of the fearful first glass!
Ah! his veins thrill in a fierce, scorching drouth,
He fills it again, again drinks it! alas!
The day is dying, hearts are sighing,
Crushed with a weight of sorrow:
Sleep, oh! sleep, in a slumber deep,
And wait for a bright to-morrow.

I saw him low in the dust at my feet,
Gone beauty, health, wealth, strength, talents, all;
From the summit of Fame to the slime of the street,
He had bartered his soul for the fiend Alcohol.
The night hangs o'er us, the wind's wild chorus
Shrieks like a demons' revel:
Weep, sob, weep, for the fog is deep,
And the world is sold to the devil.

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 (What I Have Seen #4 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. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
    Maya Angelou
  9. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  10. Invictus
    William Ernest Henley

PoemHunter.com Updates

New Poems

  1. Dearest Sister, Kaila George
  2. Wounded for me, Royston Allen
  3. A Soldiers Lament, Phil Soar
  4. The Sloth, Phil Soar
  5. The Double Play, Robert Wallace
  6. Kippers, Phil Soar
  7. what does hope tell you?, RIC S. BASTASA
  8. OUT, Phil Soar
  9. then we have changed from quizzical to a.., RIC S. BASTASA
  10. A Fishy Tale, Phil Soar

Poem of the Day

poet Wilfred Owen

All sounds have been as music to my listening:
Pacific lamentations of slow bells,
The crunch of boots on blue snow rosy-glistening,
Shuffle of autumn leaves; and all farewells:

...... Read complete »

[Hata Bildir]