Poetry of Kansas

To Emma, On Her Wedding Day.

Dear friend, I will not wish you perfect joy;
    That comes not on this earth. No mortal drinks
An unmixed cup; all good has much alloy;
    And life's long chain must have some iron links.
I wish instead, that you may know the peace___
    The steady calm___that comes of duty done.
The best springs feed, not torrents, soon to cease,
    But summer rills, that through dry weather run.
Life hath its poetry, run how it may;___
    I need not tell you that it hath its prose.
Your feet may bleed,___for thorns grow in the way
    But every thorn, remember, bears its rose.
Shut not your eyes, but turn them toward the light,
    E'en when it struggles down in cloudy bars.
Dark days may come. and deepen into night;___
    Oh, then look up, and you shall see the stars!
Thus, he whose hand you take to climb life's hill,
    Shall find you at his side a presence sweet,
Giving, when needed, firmness to his will,
    Strength to his arm, and fleetness to his feet.
Would you do more? no need to scour the land
    For work to do; work of your own will come.
She who wants labor, finds it at her hand;
    She who hath aught to say, need not be dumb.
I think you will be strong I know you well;___
    I think that you will seek to do the best
You find to do___yet what, I cannot tell.
    Do it, be true, and leave to God the rest.

__Ellen P. Allerton.

Walls of Corn and Other Poems
by Ellen P. Allerton
Collected and Published by Eva Ryan
(Hiawatha: The Harrington Printing Co. 1894)
Page 251

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March 31, 2003 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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