["The first poem which I considered of sufficient merit to copy into a manuscript book and which brought me four of the ten dollars of my first check was entitled "Two Lives". - Ella Wheeler Wilcox The Worlds and I (p.28-29)]

An infant lies in her cradle bed;
  The hands of sleep on her eyelids fall.
The moments pass with noiseless tread,
  And the clock on the mantel counts them all.
The infant wakes with a wailing cry,
And she does not heed how her life drifts by.

A child is sporting in careless play;
  She rivals the birds with her mellow song.
The clock unheeded ticks away.
  And counts the moments that drift along.
And she does not heed how her life drifts by.
But the child is chasing the butterfly.

A maiden stands at her lover's side
  In the tender light of the setting sun.
Onward and onward the moments glide.
  And the old clock counts then one by one.
But the maiden's bridal is drawing nigh,
And she does not heed how her life drifts by.

A song of her youth the matron sings,
  And dreameth a dream; and her eye is wet.
And backward and forward the pendulum swings
  In the clock that never has rested yet.
And the matron smoothers a half-drawn sigh
As she thinks how her life is drifting by.

An old crone sits in her easy chair;
  Her head is dropped on her aged breast.
The clock on the mantel ticketh there,
  The clock that is longing now for rest.
And the old crone smiles as the moments fly
And thinks how her life is drifting by.

A shrouded form in a coffin-bed,
  A waiting grave in the fallow ground;
The moments pass with their noiseless tread,
  But the clock on the mantel makes no sound.
The lives of the two have gone for aye
And they do not heed how the time drifts by.

The Worlds and I by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
New York: George II Doran Company, [c1918]

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