23 Ella Wheeler Wilcox Poems

Let these Ella Wheeler Wilcox poems give you positive and uplifting thoughts about many different aspects of life. Ella's writings were optimistic and encouraging. Her poetry has impacted many a person's life. One of her more famous poems, Solitude, is a true example of her positive thoughts.

She was born in Wisconsin, US on November 5th, 1850, she died on October 30th, 1919. But her poems live on today. Be inspired and encouraged by her words!

Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Favorite Poems by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Popular Ella Wheeler Wilcox Short Poems:

  1. Optimism
    Poet: Ella Wheeler Wilcox

    I'm no reformer; for I see more light
    Than darkness in the world; mine eyes are quick
    To catch the first dim radiance of the dawn,
    And slow to note the cloud that threatens storm.
    The fragrance and the beauty of the rose
    Delight me so, slight thought I give its thorn;
    And the sweet music of the lark's clear song
    Stays longer with me than the night hawk's cry.
    And e'en in this great throe of pain called Life,
    I find a rapture linked with each despair,
    Well worth the price of Anguish. I detect
    More good than evil in humanity.
    Love lights more fires than hate extinguishes,
    And men grow better as the world grows old.

  2. DIstrust
    Poet: Ella Wheeler Wilcox

    Distrust that man who tells you to distrust;
    He takes the measure of his own small soul,
    And thinks the world no larger. He who prates
    Of human nature's baseness and deceit
    Looks in the mirror of his heart, and sees
    His kind therein reflected. Or perchance
    The honeyed wine of life was turned to gall
    By sorrow's hand, which brimmed his cup with tears,
    And made all things seem bitter to his taste.
    Give him compassion! But be not afraid
    Of nectared Love, or Friendship's strengthening draught,
    Nor think a poison underlies their sweets.
    Look through true eyes - you will discover truth;
    Suspect suspicion, and doubt only doubt.

  3. The Lost Land
    Poet: Ella Wheeler Wilcox

    There is a story of a beauteous land,
    Where fields were fertile and where flowers were bright;
    Where tall towers glistened in the morning light,
    Where happy children wandered hand in hand,
    Where lovers wrote their names upon the sand.
    They say it vanished from all human sight,
    The hungry sea devoured it in a night.

    You doubt the tale? ah, you will understand;
    For, as men muse upon that fable old,
    They give sad credence always at the last,
    However they have cavilled at its truth,
    When with a tear-dimmed vision they behold,
    Swift sinking in the ocean of the Past,
    The lovely lost Atlantis of their Youth.

  4. A Face
    Poet: Ella Wheeler Wilcox

    Between the curtains of snowy lace,
    Over the way is a baby's face;
    It peeps forth, smiling in merry glee,
    And waves its pink little hand at me.

    My heart responds with a lonely cry -
    But in the wonderful By-and-By -
    Out from the window of God's "To Be,"
    That other baby shall beckon to me.

    That ever-haunting and longed-for face,
    That perfect vision of infant grace,
    Shall shine on me in a splendour of light,
    Never to fade from my eager sight.

    All that was taken shall be made good;
    All that puzzles me understood;
    And the wee white hand that I lost, one day,
    Shall lead me into the Better Way.

  5. Secrets
    Poet: Ella Wheeler Wilcox

    Think not some knowledge rests with thee alone.
    Why, even God's stupendous secret, Death,
    We one by one, with our expiring breath,
    Do, pale with wonder, seize and make our own;
    The bosomed treasures of the Earth are shown,
    Despite her careful hiding; and the air
    Yields its mysterious marvels in despair
    To swell the mighty storehouse of things known.
    In vain the sea expostulates and raves;
    It cannot cover from the keen world's sight
    The curious wonders of its coral caves.
    And so, despite thy caution or thy tears,
    The prying fingers of detective years
    Shall drag thy secret out into the light.

  6. The Instructor
    Poet: Ella Wheeler Wilcox

    Not till we meet with Love in all his beauty,
    In all his solemn majesty and worth,
    Can we translate the meaning of life's duty,
    Which God oft writes in cipher at our birth.

    Not till Love comes in all his strength and terror
    Can we read others' hearts; not till then know
    A wide compassion for all human error,
    Or sound the quivering depths of mortal woe.

    Not till we sail with him o'er stormy oceans,
    Have we seen tempests; hidden in his hand
    He holds the keys to all the great emotions;
    Till he unlocks them, none can understand.

    Not till we walk with him on lofty mountains
    Can we quite measure heights. And, O sad truth!
    When once we drink from his immortal fountains,
    We bid farewell to the light heart of youth.

    Thereafter our most perfect day will borrow
    A dimming shadow from some dreaded night;
    So great grows joy it merges into sorrow,
    And evermore pain tinctures our delight.

  7. A Grey Mood
    Poet: Ella Wheeler Wilcox

    As we hurry away to the end, my friend,
    Of this sad little farce called existence,
    We are sure that the future will bring one thing,
    And that is the grave in the distance.
    And so when our lives run along all wrong,
    And nothing seems real or certain,
    We can comfort ourselves with the thought (or not)
    Of that spectre behind the curtain.

    But we haven't much time to repine or whine,
    Or to wound or jostle each other;
    And the hour for us each is to-day, I say,
    If we mean to assist a brother.
    And there is no pleasure that earth gives birth,
    But the worry it brings is double;
    And all that repays for the strife of life
    Is helping some soul in trouble.

    I tell you, if I could go back the track
    To my life's morning hour,
    I would not set forth seeking name or fame,
    Or that poor bauble called power.
    I would be like the sunlight, and live to give;
    I would lend, but I would not borrow;
    Nor would I be blind and complain of pain,
    Forgetting the meaning of sorrow.

    This world is a vaporous jest at best,
    Tossed off by the gods in laughter;
    And a cruel attempt at wit were it,
    If nothing better came after.
    It is reeking with hearts that ache and break,
    Which we ought to comfort and strengthen,
    As we hurry away to the end, my friend,
    And the shadows behind us lengthen.

  8. It Might Have Been
    Poet: Ella Wheeler Wilcox

    We will be what we could be. Do not say,
    "It might have been, had not or that, or this"
    No fate can keep us from the chosen way;
    He only might who is.

    We will do what we could do. Do not dream
    Chance leaves a hero, all uncrowned to grieve.
    I hold, all men are greatly what they seem;
    He does who could achieve.

    We will climb where we could climb. Tell me not
    Of adverse storms that kept thee from the height.
    What eagle ever missed the peak he sought?
    He always climbs who might.

    I do not like the phrase, "It might have been!"
    It lacks all force, and life's best truths perverts:
    For I believe we have, and reach, and win,
    Whatever our deserts.

  9. Uselessness
    Poet: Ella Wheeler Wilcox

    Let mine not be the saddest fate of all,
    To live beyond my greater self; to see
    My faculties decaying, as the tree
    Stands stark and helpless while its green leaves fall
    Let me hear rather the imperious call,
    Which all men dread, in my glad morning time,
    And follow death ere I have reached my prime,
    Or drunk the strengthening cordial of life's gall.
    The lightning's stroke or the fierce tempest blast
    Which fells the green tree to the earth to-day
    Is kinder than the calm that lets it last,
    Unhappy witness of its own decay.
    May no man ever look on me and say,
    "She lives, but all her usefulness is past."

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