VOICES OF THE LIVING POETS

   Ella Wheeler Wilcox is spoken of recently by an English writer, as the best-read poet of to-day. It is not hard to see why. She touches the heart. This is from Good Housekeeping Magazine:

                                                HUSKS.
                                   By ELLA WHEELER WILCOX

SHE looked at her neighbour's house in the light of the waning day--
A shower of rice on the steps, and the shreds of a bride's bouquet.
And then she drew the shade, to shut out the growing gloom,
But she shut it into her heart instead. (Was that a voice in the room?)
My neighbour is sad, she sighed, like the mother bird who sees
The last of her brood fly out of the nest to make its home in the trees--
And then, in a passion of tears--But, oh, to be sad like her ;
Sad for a joy that has come and gone ! (Did some one speak, or stir?)
 
She looked at her faded hands, all burdened with costly rings ;
She looked on her widowed home, all burdened with priceless things.
She thought of the dead years gone, of the empty years ahead--
(Yes, something stirred and something spake, and this was what it said :)
The voice of the Might Have Been speaks here through the lonely dusk ;
Life offered the fruits of love ; you gathered only the husk.
There are jewels ablaze on your breast where never a child has slept.
She covered her face with her ringed old hands, and wept and wept and wept.

Current Opinion 56 (Apr. 1914): 301.

Courtesy of John M. Freiermuth.


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