THE LITTLE LADY OF THE BULLOCK CART

Now is the time when India is gay
With wedding parties; and the radiant throngs
Seem like a scattered rainbow taking part
In human pleasures. Dressed in bright array,
They fling upon the bride their wreaths of songs---
The Little Lady of the Bullock Cart.

Here is the temple ready for the rite:
The large-eyed bullocks halt; and waiting arms
Lift down the bride. All India's curious art
Speaks in the gems with which she is bedight,
And in the robes which hide her sweet alarms---
The Little Lady of the Bullock Cart.

This is her day of days: her splendid hour
When joy is hers, though love is all unknown.
It has not dawned upon her childish heart.
But human triumph, in a temporal power,
Has crowned her queen upon a one-day throne---
The Little Lady of the Bullock Cart.

Ah, Little Lady! What will be your fate?
So long, so long, the outward-reaching years:
So brief the joy of this elusive part;
So frail the shoulders for the loads that wait:
So bitter salt the virgin widow's tears---
O Little Lady of the Bullock Cart.

The Englishman and other poems by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
London : Gay and Hancock, Ltd., 1912.


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