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Poem by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Lais When Old

Lais, when old and all her beauty gone,
       Lais, the erstwhile courted pleasure queen,
    Walked homeless through Corinth. One mocked her mien--
One tossed her coins; she took them and passed on.
Down by the harbour sloped a terraced lawn,
    Where fountains played; she paused to view the scene.
    A marble palace stood in bowers of green.
'Twas here of old she revelled till the dawn.

Through yonder portico her lovers came--
    Hero and statesman, athlete, merchant, sage;
       They flung the whole world's treasures at her feet
To buy her favour and exalt her shame.

       .          .          .          .          .           .

    She spat upon her dole of coins in rage
       And faded like a phantom down the street. 

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

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

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