NECESSITY

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.

Poetical works of Ella Wheeler Wilcox. by Ella Wheeler Wilcox Edinburgh : W. P. Nimmo, Hay, & Mitchell, 1917.


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