VOICES OF THE LIVING POETS

     Any song-bird can sing triumphantly when
the sun is shining and all nature rejoicing ; but it
it takes a true-blue songbird to sing triumphantly
in the dark and lowering weather. Mrs Wilcox
has never put into her poetry more of steadfast
courage and loft faith than in these days of national
cataclysms. We found this in the N. Y. Evening
Journal:
 

THE GLORY OF BEING ALIVE.

 
             By ELLA WHEELER WILCOX

ON a bleak bold hill, with a bold world under,
    The dreary world of the common-place,
I have stood when the whole world seemed a blunder
    Of dotard time in an aimless race.
With worry about me and want before me.
    Yet deep in my soul was a rapture spring,
That made me cry to the gray day o'er me.
    Oh, I know this life is a goodly thing.

I have given sweet years to a thankless duty,
    When cold and starving, tho clothed and fed,
For a young heart's hunger for joy and beauty
    Is harder to bear than the need of bread.
I have watched the wane of a sodden season
   Which let hope wither and made care thrive
And through it all without earthly reason
    I have thrilled with the glory of being alive.

And now I stand by the great sea's splendor,
    Where love and beauty feed heart and eye.
The brilliant light of the sun grows tender
    As it slants to the shore of the By and By.
I count each hour as a golden treasure,
    A bead time drops from slender string.
And all my ways are the ways of pleasure,
    And I know this life is a goodly thing.

And I know, too, that not in the seeing
    Or having or doing the things we would
Lies that deep rapture that comes from being
    At one with the purpose that makes all good.
And not from pleasure the harp may borrow
    That vast contentment for which we strive,
Unless through trouble and want and sorrow
    It has thrilled with the glory of being alive.

Current Opinion 58 (Jun. 1915): 434.

Courtesy of John M. Freiermuth.


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