Poems of Experience eBook

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

You mean Kamehameha First, I’m sure. 
Yes, I am of his line.


May it endure
Until the end of time; for you are great;
The world needs women like you.

[Girl turns to go.


Oh, now wait! 
I want some flowers; please hang about my neck
A dozen lais; and give me half a peck
Of nice bouquets; then I will hire a band
And celebrate my entrance to your land. 
I’ll dance the Hula, up and down the street
And cry Aloha, to each girl I meet;
And if she frowns, and calls me cad, and churl,
I’ll shout, Long Live the New Hawaiian Girl —
Rah, rah, rah, Yale, Yale, Yale!

[A Hawaiian Band is heard approaching.]

Girl (laughingly, as she hangs lais about his neck)

Well, there’s your band; and since you are so kind,
To purchase all my flowers, I’ve half a mind
To favour you with, not the Hula, sir,
But something more refined, and prettier. 
I’ll teach it to you; ask the band out there
To play the Hula Kui dancing air;
Then follow all I do, and copy me. 
This is the way it starts, now one, two, three.

[After the dance ends, Ralph approaches the girl with tense face and speaks with great seriousness.]

Girl, though I do not even know your name,
Yet here I stand, and offer you my own;
It was for you I came, for you alone,
Across the half world.  I have never known
Forgetfulness, since first your face I saw. 
In coming here, I but obeyed Love’s law;
I thought it fancy, passion, or caprice;
I know now it is love.

Flower girl (with emotion)

I pray you, cease;
You do not understand yourself; go, go;

[Urges him towards exit.

Ralph (seizing her hand)

I will not go until I hear you say
That you remember even as I do
That brief encounter on the street one day.

[Flower girl turns her face away and tries to free her hand.]

Ralph (exultantly)

Oh, it is fate; and Fate we must obey.

[Takes ring from his finger.]

Let the ship go; but with my heart I stay.

[Attempts to place ring on girl’s finger.  She wrenches her hand free, and stands with both hands behind her as she speaks with suppressed emotion.]

The heart of every Island girl on earth
I think hides one sweet dream, and it is this;
To one day meet a man of higher birth —
To win his heart,—­to feel his tender kiss —
And sail with him to some far distant land. 
This too has been my dream; wherein your face
Shone like a beacon.

[Repels Ralph as he starts forward.]

But I know your race,
Too well, too well.  I know how such dreams end,
You could not claim me in your land, my friend,
For colour prejudice is rampant there.

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