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Poem by Ella Wheeler Wilcox


Deceitful Calm


The winds are still; the sea lies all untroubled
   Beneath a cloudless sky; the morn is bright,
Yet, Lord, I feel my need of Thee is doubled;
   Come nearer to me in this blaze of light;
The night must fall,--the storm will burst at length.
      Oh! give me strength.

So well, so well, I know the treacherous seeming
   Of days like this; they are too heavenly fair.
Those waves that laugh like happy children dreaming,
   Are mighty forces brewing some despair
For thoughtless hearts, and ere the hour of need,
      Let mine take heed.

Joy cannot last; it must give place to sorrow
   As certainly as solar systems roll.
I would not wait till that time comes to borrow
   The strength prayer offers to a suffering soul.
Here in the sunlight--yet undimmed by shade,
      I cry for aid.

I dare not lightly drain the cup of pleasure,
   Though Thine the hand that proffers me the draught.
Such bitter lees lie lower in the measure,
   I shall need courage, ere the potionТs quaffed;
Then strengthen me before that time befall,
      To drink the gall.

I need Thee in my joys and my successes,
   To make me humble, grateful, and not vain.
I need Thee when the weight of sorrow presses
   The tortured heart that cries aloud in pain,
So close great pleasures and great anguish lie.
      Lord, Lord, come nigh.



Ella Wheeler Wilcox


Ella Wheeler Wilcox's other poems:
  1. The Birth of the Opal
  2. But a Dream
  3. The Awakening (I love the tropics, where sun and rain)
  4. The Breaking of Chains
  5. The Chain


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