Poems of Experience eBook

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

Over and over the whip of pain
   Has spurred and punished with blow on blow;
As ever and alway I tried in vain
   To shun the labour I hated so.

Over and over I came this way
   For just one purpose:  O stubborn soul! 
Turn with a will to your work to-day,
   And learn the lesson of self-control.


Wherever the white man’s feet have trod
   (Oh far does the white man stray)
A bold road rifles the virginal sod,
And the forest wakes out of its dream of God,
   To yield him the right of way. 
For this is the law:  By the power of thought,
for worse, or for better, are miracles wrought.

Wherever the white man’s pathway leads,
   (Far, far has that pathway gone)
The Earth is littered with broken creeds —
And alway the dark man’s tent recedes,
   And the white man pushes on. 
For this is the law:  Be it good or ill,
all things must yield to the stronger will.

Wherever the white man’s light is shed,
   (Oh far has that light been thrown)
Though Nature has suffered and beauty bled,
Yet the goal of the race has been thrust ahead,
   And the might of the race has grown. 
For this is the law:  Be it cruel or kind,
the universe sways to the power of mind.


Above her veil a shrouded Moorish maid
   Showed melting eyes, as limpid as a lake;
A brow untouched by care; a band of jetty hair,
   And nothing more.  The all-concealing haik
Fell to her high arched instep.  At her side
   An old duenna walked; her withered face
   Half covered only, since no lingering grace
Bespoke the beauty once her master’s pride.

Above her veil, the Moorish maid beheld
   The modern world, in Paris-decked Algiers;
Saw happy lad and lass, in love’s contentment pass,
   Or in sweet wholesome friendship, free from fears. 
She saw fair matrons, walking arm-in-arm
   With life-long lovers, time-endeared, and then
   She saw the ardent look in eyes of men,
And thrilled and trembled with a vague alarm.

Above her veil she saw the stuccoed court
   That led to dim secluded rooms within. 
She followed, dutiful, the dame unbeautiful,
   Who told her that the Christian world means sin. 
Some day, full soon, she would go forth a bride —
   Of one whose face she never had beheld. 
   Something within her, wakened, and rebelled;
She flung aside her veil, and cried, and cried.


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