The Ella Wheeler Wilcox Society Newsletter

Richard A. Edwards, Editor

History Poems Prose Search
January 2001
Volume 2, Number 1
   Happy New Year to everyone! 

   This month, of course, I've focused on Ella's New Years poems and quotes. She certainly had a way of putting the past to rest and focusing on the joyful future to come. But first, here are some new items from other members.

This contribution was sent in by Sandra Stelts from Pennsylvania State University Library. She found this card at the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto, Canada, and was kind enough to send it to me for our collection. 

  The quote is from the chapter "Old Clothes" from Ella's The Heart of the New Thought. Design by Quotable Cards, Inc. "Quote taken from Instant Quotation Dictionary." c. 1984 by Career Publishing, Inc. Photograph by Taryn Simon.

   It appears that Ella's quotes still appeal to "modern" society.

   This copy of "The Eternal Will" was published in a Chicago Newspaper (most likely the Chicago Evening American) in an unknown Sunday issue. Thanks to Karen Iacobbo for sending it along for our collection.

   As Ella wrote in Every-day Thoughts in Prose and Verse: "One of the best New Year resolutions you can make is to utilize the days, or, rather, the moments comprising the days, in a wise manner. It is wonderful what can be accomplished if we do not fritter away time--that most precious possession which belongs to all men equally, and upon which no trust or syndicate can obtain a 'corner'." Thanks to everyone who has spent their time to making The Ella Wheeler Wilcox Society a valued and respected resource worldwide.

  I hope you enjoy this issue of the newsletter. Feel free to send submissions of material or feedback about the newsletter to me at

  This month in Ella's life:
January 23,1849
Eunice Hosford, Ella's Grandmother
Born March 31, 1767 
Married to Amos Wheeler on August 20, 1788 in Thetford, Vermont. 
Died January 23, 1849 in Thetford,Vermont. 
January 1871
Ella wrote the poem "One Woman's Plea" pleading with legislators for temperance laws. It would appear in print in her book Shells in 1873. Prohibition would not be enacted until 1919.
January 8, 1875
Ella read "A Poem" in front of the Saint Andrew's Society (Scottish Fraternal Organization). The poem later appeared in her book Maurine in 1876.
January 30, 1876
Ella writes to Arthur O'Shaughnessy (the British poet) in which she replies to his last letter from Paris and mentions her forthcoming book, Maurine. She gushed "I have been reading in your Music and Moonlight this evening: I read 'We are the music makers'---and was vain enough to class myself among the 'we' and felt the truth and beauty of it all.  We live, I do believe, more in one day, than many of our readers live in all their lives."  Ella was many things, but modest was seldom one of them.
She goes on to describe her social life: "I fear, spend more time than I ought at balls, theaters, operas & c.  But one 
can be young but once--and  we women are young so short a time, it behooves us to make the most of the brief hour."
And then she goes on to flirt with him, writing: "My thoughts of a passionate theme.  I wonder if I will ever see you, and read them with you!" and "I enclose a very correct photo for you, and await yours anxiously. I have brown hair-- with red lights in it--brown  eyes, and light complexion.  5 feet 3, and weigh 128 lbs.   Now don't you think you would  know me, if we met in London, unexpectedly?  Send me your picture soon." She was 26 years old at the time.
The complete letter is on our web site at
January 19, 1894
She was staying at the Westminster Hotel, Irving Place & 16th St., New York City when she wrote a letter to a Mr. Bok.
January 24, 1899
Marcus Hartwell Wheeler, Ella's Father
Born July 14, 1808 in Thetford, Vermont 
Married to Sarah Pratt on May 22, 1836 in Thetford, Vermont 
Died January 24, 1899 in Westport, Wisconsin.
January 18, 1902
While staying at 105 East Fifteenth Street, New York City, she wrote a letter to a Mr. Clemens.
January 15, 1917
She was staying at 1756 Wilton Place, Hollywood, CA, where she wrote to a Miss Mason.
In that letter she talked about her activities after the death of her dear husband, Robert, who died in May 1916.
"I have come to see that just so much suffering is a part of the evolution of the race to something higher, and if I in my daily environment, do as I would be done by, accomplish every duty placed before me as well as I know how, return good for evil, etc. that my time will be wholly occupied for the remainder of my time on earth, without taking part in the large reforms.  The time which I gave to bothering myself about many of those subjects, I am going to give now to Study, Meditation, Prayer, and Psychical Research.  I am giving from two to four hours a day to the study of the Harp, as my beloved would want me to, I know; and I have written nine poems for publication in the last two months.  I am doing all I can with thought, affection, and money, to assist those who were dear to my husband, and others who are more or less dependent upon my care.  I think each one of us must work out our own life problems, in our own."
The complete letter is on our web site at
January 25, 1918
She was staying at the Hotel Belmont, 42nd St. at Park Avenue, New York City


   New Year, I look straight in your eyes, 
   Our ways and our interests blend, 
   You may be a foe in disguise 
   But I shall believe you a friend. 
   We get what we give in our measure, 
   We cannot give pain and get pleasure, 
   I give you good will and good cheer 
   And you must return it, New Year. 

   We get what we give in this life, 
   Though often the giver indeed 
   Waits long upon doubting and strife 
   Ere proving the truth of my Creed. 
   But somewhere, someway, and forever 
   Reward is the meed of endeavor-- 
   And if I am really worth while, 
   New Year, you will give me your smile. 

   You hide in your mystical hand 
   No "luck" that I cannot control, 
   If I trust my own courage and stand 
   On the Infinite strength of my soul. 
   Man holds in his brain and his spirit 
   A power that is God-like, or near it, 
   And he who has measured his force 
   Can govern events and their course. 

   You come with a crown on your brow, 
   New Year, without blemish or spot. 
   Yet you, and not I, sir, must bow, 
   For time is the servant of thought. 
   Whatever you bring me of trouble 
   Shall turn into good and then double. 
   If my spirit looks up without fear 
   To the Source that you came from, New Year. 

Poems of sentiment by Ella Wheeler Wilcox 
Chicago, IL : W. B. Conkey Company, c1906. 


As the dead year is clasped by a dead December, 
   So let your dead sins with your dead days lie. 
A new life is yours and a new hope. Remember 
   We build our own ladders to climb to the sky. 

Stand out in the sunlight of promise, forgetting 
   Whatever the past held of sorrow and wrong. 
We waste half our strength in a useless regretting; 
   We sit by old tombs in the dark too long. 

Have you missed in your aim?  Well, the mark is still shining. 
   Did you faint in the race?  Well, take breath for the next. 
Did the clouds drive you back?  But see yonder their lining. 
   Were you tempted and fell?  Let it serve for a text. 

As each year hurries by, let it join that procession 
   Of skeleton shapes that march down to the past 
While you take your place in the line of progression, 
   With your eyes to the heavens, your face to the blast. 

I tell you the future can hold no terrors 
   For any sad soul while the stars revolve, 
If he will stand firm on the grave of his errors, 
   And instead of regretting--resolve, resolve! 

It is never too late to begin rebuilding, 
   Though all into ruins your life seems hurled; 
For see! how the light of the New Year is gilding 
   The wan, worn face of the bruised old world. 

Kingdom of Love and How Salvator Won
by Ella Wheeler Wilcox. 
Chicago, W.B. Conkey company [1902]. 


   I saw on the hills of the morning, 
      The form of the New Year arise, 
   He stood like a statue adorning 
      The world with a background of skies. 
   There were courage and grace in his beautiful face, 
      And hope in his glorious eyes. 

   "I come from Time's boundless forever," 
      He said, with a voice like a song, 
   "I come as a friend to endeavour, 
      I come as a foe to all wrong. 
   To the sad and afraid I bring promise of aid, 
      And the weak I will gird and make strong. 

   "I bring you more blessings than terrors, 
      I bring you more sunlight than gloom, 
   I tear out your page of old errors, 
      And hide them away in Time's tomb. 
   I reach you clean hands, and lead on to the lands 
      Where the lilies of peace are in bloom." 

Poetical works of Ella Wheeler Wilcox
by Ella Wheeler Wilcox 
Edinburgh : W. P. Nimmo, Hay, & Mitchell, 1917. 


   As the old year sinks down in Time's ocean, 
      Stand ready to launch with the new, 
   And waste no regrets, no emotion, 
      As the masts and the spars pass from view. 
   Weep not if some treasures go under, 
      And sink in the rotten ship's hold, 
   That blithe bonny barque sailing yonder 
      May bring you more wealth than the old. 

   For the world is for ever improving, 
      All the past is not worth one to-day, 
   And whatever deserves our true loving, 
      Is stronger than death or decay. 
   Old love, was it wasted devotion? 
      Old friends, were they weak or untrue? 
   Well, let them sink there in mid-ocean, 
      And gaily sail on to the new. 

   Throw overboard toil misdirected, 
      Throw overboard ill-advised hope, 
   With aims which, your soul has detected, 
      Have self as their centre and scope. 
   Throw overboard useless regretting 
      For deeds which you cannot undo, 
   And learn the great art of forgetting 
      Old things which embitter the new. 

   Sing who will of dead years departed, 
      I shroud them and bid them adieu, 
   And the song that I sing, happy-hearted, 
      Is a song of the glorious new. 

Poetical works of Ella Wheeler Wilcox
by Ella Wheeler Wilcox 
Edinburgh : W. P. Nimmo, Hay, & Mitchell, 1917. 

        NEW YEAR 

        'The night is cold, the hour is late, the world is bleak and drear; 
        'Who is it knocking at my door?' 

The New Year: 
        'I am Good Cheer.' 

        'Your voice is strange; I know you not; in shadows dark I grope. 
        What seek you here?' 

The New Year: 
        'Friend, let me in; my name is Hope.' 

        'And mine is Failure; you but mock the life you seek to bless. 
        Pass on.' 

The New Year: 
        'Nay, open wide the door; I am Success.' 

        'But I am ill and spent with pain; too late has come your wealth. 
        I cannot use it.' 

The New Year: 
        'Listen, friend; I am Good Health.' 

        'Now, wide I fling my door. Come in, and your fair statements prove.' 

The New Year: 
        'But you must open, too, your heart, for I am Love.' 

Poems of Progress and New Thought Pastels
by Ella Wheeler Wilcox. 
London: Gay & Hancock, 1911. 

Let the Past Go.

        Do not begin the new year by recounting to yourself or others all your losses and sorrows. 
        Let the past go. 
        Should some good friend present you with material for a lovely garment, would you insult her by throwing it aside and describing the beautiful garments you had worn out in past times? 
    The new year has given you the fabric for a fresh start in life,why dwell upon the events which have gone, the joys, blessings and advantages of the past! 
    Do not tell me it is too late to be successful or happy.  Do not tell me you are sick or broken in spirit, the spirit cannot be sick or broken, because it is of God. 
    It is your mind which makes your body sick. Let the spirit assert itself and demand health and hope and happiness in this new year. 
    Forget the money you have lost, the mistakes you have made, the injuries you have 
received, the disappointments you have experienced. 
    Real sorrow the sorrow which comes from the death of dear ones, or some great cross well borne, you need not forget.  But think of these things as sent to enrich your nature, and to make you more human and sympathetic.  You are missing them if you permit yourself instead to grow melancholy and irritable. 
    It is weak and unreasonable to imagine destiny has selected you for special suffering. 
    Sorrow is no respector of persons.  Say to yourself with the beginning of this year that you are going to consider all your troubles as an education for your mind and soul; and that out of the experiences which you have passed through you are going to build a noble and splendid character, and a successful career. 
    Do not tell me you are too old. 
    Age is all imagination.  Ignore years and they will ignore you. 
    Eat moderately, and bathe freely in water as cold as nature's rainfall.  Exercise thoroughly and regularly. 
    Be alive, from crown to toe.  Breathe deeply, filling every cell of the lungs for at least five minutes, morning and night, and when you draw in long, full breaths, believe you are inhaling helth, wisdom and success. 
    Anticipate good health.  If it does not come at once, consider it a mere temporary delay, and continue to expect it. 
    Regard any physical ailment as a passing inconvenience, no more. 
    Never for an instant believe you are permanently ill or disabled. 
    The young men of France are studying alchemy, hoping to learn the secret which 
shall give you whatever you desire. 
    Think of your body as the silver jewel box, your mind as the silk lining, your spirit as the gem.  Keep the box burnished and clear of dust, but remember always that the jewel within is the precious part of it. 
    Think of yourself as on the threshold of unparralleled success.  A whole, clear, glorious year lies before you!  In a year you can regain health, fortune, restfulness, happiness! 
    Push on!  Achieve, achieve! 

The Heart of the New Thought. by Ella Wheeler Wilcox. 
Chicago :  The Psychic Research Company, c1902. 

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  Copyright 2000 Richard A. Edwards, all rights reserved. This document may be distributed freely. Please forward the complete message including this copyright notice.