My friend Hattie came from her new home in Chicago to read, with most effective skill, several of my poems, and Colonel M. A. Aldrich, the brilliant newspaper man (who had first conceived the idea of this testimonial reception), read for me lines I had written as a response in place of the speech which I knew I could not make. My lines were:
Speak for me, friend, whose lips are ever ready
With chosen words, to voice another's thought;
My shaken heart would make my tones unsteady;
Speak thou the words I ought.
Say that the love I give in lavish fashion,
To all God's living creatures everywhere,
Pervades me with a deep and holy passion,
A wordless, grateful prayer.
Say that the gifts I may have used too lightly,
As children toss rare gems in careless mirth,
From this glad hour, henceforth shall shine more brightly
And prove their honest worth.
Say that my life shall be one grand endeavor
To reach a nobler womanhood's fair height;
Say how my earnest aim is to forever
Be worthy of this night.
The worlds and I. By Ella Wheeler Wilcox. p. 82-83.
New York : George H. Doran Company, c1918.
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