Necessity, whom long I deemed my foe,
Thou cold, unsmiling and hard visaged dame,
Now I no longer see thy face, I know
Thou wert my friend beyond reproach or blame.
My best achievements, and the fairest flights
Of my winged fancy, were inspired by thee,
Thy stern voice stirred me to the mountain heights.
Thy importunings bade me do and be,
But for thy breath, the spark of living fire
Within me might have smouldered out at length
But for thy lash which would not let me tire,
I never would have measured my own strength.

But for thine oft-times merciless control
Upon my life, that nerved me past despair,
I never should have dug deep in my soul
And found the mine of treasures hidden there.
And though we walk divided pathways now,
And I no more may see thee, to the end,
I weave this little chaplet for thy brow,
That other hearts may know, and hail thee friend.                                          Ella Wheeler Wilcox

The Fayetteville Observer 23 Oct. 1884: 1.

Courtesy of John M. Freiermuth.

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