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Poem by Ella Wheeler Wilcox


Whatever you want, if you wish for it long,
   With constant yearning and fervent desire,
If your wish soars upward on wings so strong
   That they never grow languid and never tire,--

Why, over the storm clouds and out of the dark
   It shall come flying some day to you.
As the dove with the olive branch flew to the ark,
   And the dream you have cherished--it shall come true.

But lest much rapture shall make you mad,
   Or too bright sunshine should strike you blind,
Along with your blessing a something sad
   Shall come like a shadow that follows behind.

Something unwelcome and unforeseen,
   Yet of your hope and your wish, a part,
Shall stand like a sentinel in between
   The perfect joy and the human heart.

I wished for a cloudless and golden day;
   It came, but I looked from my window to see
A giant shadow which seemed to say,
   ТIf you ask for the sunlight you must take me.Т

Oh! a wonderful thing is the human will,
   When seeking one purpose, and serving one end;
But I think it is wiser to just sit still,
   And accept whatever the gods may send.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Ella Wheeler Wilcox's other poems:
  1. The Birth of the Opal
  2. At Forty-Eight
  3. Artist and Man
  4. As by Fire
  5. But a Dream

Poems of the other poets with the same name:

  • Dora Sigerson Shorter Wishes ("I wish we could live as the flowers live")
  • Menella Smedley Wishes ("Looking back")

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