THE VOLUPTUARY

Oh, I am sick of love reciprocated!
    Of hopes fulfilled--ambitions gratified.
Life holds no thing to be anticipated,
    And I am sad from being satisfied.

The eager joy, felt climbing up the mountain,
    Has left me, now the highest peak is gained.
The crystal spray that fell from Fame's fair fountain
    Was sweeter than the waters were, when drained.

The gilded apple which the world calls Pleasure,
    And which I purchased with my youth and strength,
Pleased me a moment. But the empty treasure
    Lost all its lustre, and grew dim at length.

And love all glowing with a golden glory,
    Delighted me a season with its tale.
It pleased the longest.  But at last the story
    So oft repeated to my heart, grew stale.

I lived for self, and all I sought was given.
    I have had all, and now am sick of bliss.
No other punishment designed by heaven,
    Could strike me half so forcibly as this.

I feel no sense of aught but enervation,
    In all the joys my selfish aims have brought.
And know no wish but for annihilation,
    Since that would give me freedom from the thought.

Oh, blest is he, who has some aim defeated,
    Some mighty loss to balance all his gain!
For him there is a hope not yet completed,
    For him life yet has draughts of joy and pain.

And, cursed is he, who has no balked ambition,
    No hopeless hope, no loss beyond repair.
But sick and sated with complete fruition,
    Keeps not the pleasure even of Despair.

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


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