Lais, when old and all her beauty gone,
Lais, the erstwhile courted pleasure queen,
Walked homeless through Corinth. One mocked her mien--
One tossed her coins; she took them and passed on.
Down by the harbour sloped a terraced lawn,
Where fountains played; she paused to view the scene.
A marble palace stood in bowers of green.
'Twas here of old she revelled till the dawn.
Through yonder portico her lovers came--
Hero and statesman, athlete, merchant, sage;
They flung the whole world's treasures at her feet
To buy her favour and exalt her shame.
. . . . . .
She spat upon her dole of coins in rage
And faded like a phantom down the street.
Poems of Progress and New Thought Pastels by Ella Wheeler Wilcox.
London: Gay & Hancock, 1911.
|Back to Poem Index|