Listlessly up the stairway,
   And listlessly through the hall
With her bright smile fled, and her roses dead,
   Creeps the belle of the ball;
It is only the hour of midnight;
   Why did she hasten so,
And leave the Prince of the Waltzers
   To seek for her, high and low?

Alone in her quiet chamber,
   She flings off flowers and pearls,
And she tosses her robe in the corner,
   And takes out the comb from her curls.
And her cheek is whiter than lilies,
   And the tears they fall and fall;
With the gloom on her brow, would you know her now,
   For the brilliant belle of the ball?

To and fro in her chamber
   She paces with restless feet;
She fancies she hears the dancers,
   And the music beat and beat.
She can hear the beautiful Danube,
   And her tears fall down like rain,
For she knows the Prince of the Waltzers
   In seeking for her in vain.

Why did she leave the ballroom?
   Because she dared not stay,
Lest on the sweet, sweet music's beat
   Her soul should be carried away.
For how can a woman be guarded
   Against an alluring glance,
Or the light caress of a soft hand-press.
   In the swift, bewildering dance.

Oh why was the world created,
   If never a soul is glad?
And why should love be given
   If only to make us sad?
And why should the Prince of Waltzers
   Be tied to a sickly wife?
And why should the belle of the ballroom
   Love him better than life?

Over and over, these problems
   Go surging through her brain,
While afar the Prince of the Waltzers
   Is seeking for her in vain.
And not till over the mountains
   The rays of the morning creep,
Does the brilliant belle of the season
   Sink into a troubled sleep.

Oh, weep in your slumber, my lady!
   You shall weep more bitterly yet.
It is ever so--there are tears and woe
   For those who their God forget.
You live to triumph and conquer;
   You are belle of the feast and the ball;
But the sweets in the cup--you have drained them,
   And now you must drink the gall.

Maurine by Ella Wheeler
Milwaukee: Cramer, Aikens & Cramer, 1876.

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