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Poem by Ella Wheeler Wilcox


Fame


If I should die, to-day, 
To-morrow, maybe, the world would see 
Would waken from sleep, and say, 
Why here was talent! why here was worth! 
Why here was a luminous light o the earth. 
A soul as free 
As the winds of the sea: 
To whom was given 
A dower of heaven. 
And fame, and name, and glory belongs 
To this dead singer of living songs. 
Bring hither a wreath, for the bride of death! 
And so they would praise me, and so they would raise me 
Mayhap, a column, high over the bed 
Where I should be lying, all cold and dead.

But I am a living poet! 
Walking abroad in the sunlight of God, 
Not lying asleep, where the clay worms creep, 
And the cold world will not show it, 
Een when it sees that my song should please; 
But sneering says: Avaunt, with thy lays 
Do not sing them, and do not bring them 
Into this rustling, bustling life. 
We have no time, for a jingling rhyme, 
In this scene of hurrying, worrying strife. 
And so I say, there is but one way 
To win me a name, and bring me fame. 
And that is, to die, and be buried low, 
When the world would praise me, an hour or so.



Ella Wheeler Wilcox


Ella Wheeler Wilcox's other poems:
  1. Queries
  2. Opportunity
  3. Why the Spring is Late
  4. As by Fire
  5. The Call (All wantonly in hours of joy)


Poems of the other poets with the same name:

  • Charlotte Mew Fame ("Sometimes in the over-heated house, but not for long")
  • Marjorie Pickthall Fame ("HAVE I played fellowship with night, to see")

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