Ella Wheeler Wilcox

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

The Soul's Farewell to the Body - Poem by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

So we must part forever; and although
I long have beat my wings and cried to go,
Free from your narrow limiting control,
Forth into space, the true home of the soul,

Yet now, yet now that hour is drawing near,
I pause reluctant, finding you so dear.
All joys await me in the realm of God-
Must you, my comrade, moulder in the sod?

I was your captive, yet you were my slave;
Your prisoner, yet obedience you gave
To all my earnest wishes and commands.
Now to the worm I leave those willing hands

That toiled for me or held the books I read,
Those feet that trod where'er I wished to tread,
Those arms that clasped my dear ones, and the breast
On which one loved and loving heart found rest,

Those lips which my prayers to God have risen,
Those eyes that were the windows to my prison.
From these, all these, Death's Angel bids me sever;
Dear Comrade Body, fare thee well forever!

I go to my inheritance, and go
With joy that only the freed soul can know;
Yet in my spirit wanderings I trust
I may sometimes pause near your sacred dust.

Topic(s) of this poem: prayer, prison, soul


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Poem Submitted: Monday, January 18, 2016



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