As yon great Sun in his supreme condition
      Absorbs small worlds and makes them all his own,
   So does my love absorb each vain ambition,
      Each outside purpose which my life has known.
   Stars cannot shine so near that vast orb's splendor,
      They are content to feed his flames of fire;
   And so my heart is satisfied to render
      Its strength, its all, to meet thy strong desire.

   As in a forest when dead leaves are falling,
      From all save some perennial green tree,
   So one by one I find all pleasures palling
      That are not linked with or enjoyed by thee.
   And all the homage that the world may proffer,
      I take as perfumed oils or incense sweet,
   And think of it as one thing more to offer
      And sacrifice to Love, at thy dear feet.

   I love myself because thou art my lover,
      My name seems dear since uttered by thy voice;
   Yet argus-eyed I watch and would discover
      Each blemish in the object of thy choice.
   I coldly sit in judgment on each error,
      To my soul's gaze I hold each fault of me,
   Until my pride is lost in abject terror,
      Lest I become inadequate to thee.

   Like some swift-rushing and sea-seeking river,
      Which gathers force the farther on it goes,
   So does the current of my love forever
      Find added strength and beauty as it flows.
   The more I give, the more remains for giving,
      The more receive, the more remains to win.
   Ah! only in eternities of living
      Will life be long enough to love thee in.                             ELLA WHEELER WILCOX .

The Evening Bulletin [Philadelphia] 22 Jan. 1906: 7.

Courtesy of John M. Freiermuth.

Back to Poem Index