Poems of Experience eBook

Ella Wheeler Wilcox
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 59 pages of information about Poems of Experience.

And I feel the exaltation
Of a child that loves its play,
Though the ranks of friends are thinning,
Still the end is but beginning
Of a larger, fuller day,
And the joy of life is spilling
From my spirit, as all willing
I go speeding on my way.


So much one thought about the life beyond
He did not drain the waters of his pond;
And when death laid his children ’neath the sod
He called it—­’the mysterious will of God.’ 
He would not strive for worldly gain, not he. 
His wealth, he said, was stored in God’s To Be. 
He kept his mortal body poorly drest,
And talked about the garments of the blest. 
And when to his last sleep he laid him down,
His only mourner begged her widow’s gown.

One was not sure there was a life to come,
So made an Eden of his earthly home. 
He strove for wealth, and with an open hand
He comforted the needy in his land. 
He wore new garments often, and the old
Helped many a brother to keep out the cold. 
He said this life was such a little span
Man ought to make the most of it,—­for man. 
And when he died the fortune that he left
Gave succour to the needy and bereft.


‘Only be still, and in the silence grow,’
If thou art seeking what the gods bestow. 
   This is the simple, safe, and certain way
   That leads to knowledge for which all men pray
Of higher laws to govern things below.

But in our restless discontent we go
   With noisy importuning day on day —
   Drowning the inner voice that strives to say
‘Only be still, and in the silence grow.’

We doubt, we cavil, and we talk of woe —
We delve in books, and waste our forces so;
   We cling to creeds that were not meant to stay,
   And close our ears to Truth’s immortal lay. 
Oh wouldst thou see, and understand, and know? 
‘Only be still, and in the silence grow.’


I’m pardoned out.  Again the stars
   Shine on me with their myriad eyes. 
So long I’ve peered ’twixt iron bars,
   I’m awed by this expanse of skies. 
The world is wider than I thought,
   And yet ’tis not so wide, I know,
But into its remotest spot
   My tale of shame can go.

I’m pardoned out.  Old Father Time
   Who seemed to halt in horror, when
I stained my manhood by a crime,
   With steady step moves on again,
And through the black appalling night,
   That walled me in a gloom accurst,
The wonder of the morning light
   In sudden glory burst.

I’m pardoned out.  I shall be known
   No more by number, but by name. 
And yet each whispering wind has blown
   Abroad the story of my shame. 
I dread to see men shrink away
   With startled looks of scorn or fear,
When in life’s crowded marts some day,
   That name falls on their ear.

Project Gutenberg
Poems of Experience from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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