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Poem by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

The Belle's Soliloquy

Heigh ho! well, the season's over!
    Once again we've come to Lent!
Programme's changed from balls and parties--
    Now we're ordered to repent.
Forty days of self-denial!
    Tell you what I think it pays--
Know't'l freshen my complexion
    Going slow for forty days.

No more savory French suppers--
    Such as Madame R-- can give.
Well, I need a little thinning--
    Just a trifle--sure's you live!
Sometimes been afraid my plumpness
    Might grow into downright fat.
Rector urges need of fasting--
    Think there's lot of truth in that.

We must meditate, he tells us,
    On our several acts of sin.
And repent them. Let me see now--
    Whereabouts shall I begin!
Flirting--yes, they say 'tis wicked;
    Well, I'm awful penitent.
(Wonder if my handsome major
    Goes to early Mass through Lent?)

Love of dress! I'm guilty there too--
    Guess it's my besetting sin.
Still I'm somewhat like the lilies,
    For I neither toil nor spin.
Forty days I'll wear my plainest--
    Could repentance be more true?
What a saving on my dresses!
    They'll make over just like new.

Pride, and worldliness and all that,
    Rector bade us pray about
Every day through Lenten season,
    And I mean to be devout!
Papa always talks retrenchment--
    Lent is just the very thing.
Hope he'll get enough in pocket
    So we'll move up town next spring. 

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Ella Wheeler Wilcox's other poems:
  1. Bleak Weather
  2. At Forty-Eight
  3. When I Die
  4. At Set of Sun
  5. But a Dream

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