Ella Wheeler Wilcox

(5 November 1850 - 30 October 1919 / Johnstown Center / Rock County / Wisconsin)

A Maiden To Her Mirror


He said he loved me! Then he called my hair
Silk threads wherewith sly Cupid strings his bow,
My cheek a rose leaf fallen on new snow;
And swore my round, full throat would bring despair
To Venus or to Psyche.

Time and care
Will fade these locks; the merry god, I know,
Uses no grizzled cords upon his bow.
How will it be when I, no longer fair,
Plead for his kiss with cheeks, whence long ago
The early snowflakes melted quite away,
The rose leaf died – and in whose sallow clay
Lie the deep sunken tracks of life’s gaunt crow?

When this full throat shall wattle fold on fold,
Like some ripe peach left drying on a wall,
Or like a spent accordion, when all
Its music has exhaled – will love grow cold?

Submitted: Tuesday, June 03, 2003

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