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Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Ella Wheeler Wilcox
1850-1919


Theme:  Temperance Movement


NOTES:
Ella Wheeler Wilcox was a very popular poet of her day.  The poet laureate of the Temperance Movement, her first book of poetry (as Ella Wheeler, before her marriage) was published by The National Temperance Movement and Publication House out of New York.  Four of these poems (including this one) are posted here.*

Very much a traditionalist in many ways, Mrs. Wilcox (she would have deplored the "Ms" designation) is said to have mellowed in her later years - like a fine wine! Indeed, her prowess as a poet should not be judged by her "temperance poetry", which were written in her early 20's.  Her most well-known poem today is "Solitude" (see link below).
 - S. H. Bass   


more Ella Wheeler Wilcox at
vintagewinepoems.com
A Girl's Autumn Reverie
A Glass Of Wine*

A Tumbler Of Claret*
Comrades
Distrust
Lippo
Origin Of The Liquor Dealer*
Solitude   A/V
The Coquette   A/V
The Goal
The Two Glasses


Stop Button Clutter!
In The Cup
Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1850-1919), American poet

There is grief in the cup!
I saw a proud mother set wine on the board;
The eyes of her son sparkled bright as she poured
The ruddy stream into the glass in his hand.
The cup was of silver; the lady was grand
In her satins and laces; her proud heart was glad
In the love of her fair, noble son; but, oh! sad,
Oh! so sad ere a year had passed by,
And the soft light had gone from her beautiful
eye.
For the boy that she loved, with a love strong as death,
In the chill hours of morn with a drunkard's foul breath
And a drunkard's fierce oath, reeled and staggered his way
To his home, a dark blot on the face of the day.

There is shame in the cup!
The tempter said, "Drink," and a fair maiden
quaffed
Till her cheeks glowed the hue of the dangerous draft.
The voice of the tempter spoke low in her ear
Words that once would have started the quick,
angry tear,
But wine blunts the conscience, and wine dulls the brain,
She listened and smiled, and he whispered again.
He lifted the goblet: "Once more," he said,
"drink,"
And the soul of the maiden was lost in the brink.

There is death in the cup!
A man in God's image, strong, noble, and grand,
With talents that crowned him a prince of the
land,
Sipped the ruddy red wine!--sipped it lightly at first,
Until from its chains broke the demon of thirst.
And thirst became master, and man became
slave,
And he ended his life in the drunkard's poor grave.
Wealth, fame, talents, beauty, and life swallowed up,
Grief, shame, death, destruction, are all in the cup.


from Drops of Water: Poems (New York : The National Temperance Society and Publication House, 1872)


Project Gutenberg logoFREE E-Books at Project Gutenberg
by Ella Wheeler Wilcox



The Internet Archive logoFree - Book

Drops of Water: Poems (The National Temperance Society and Publication House, 1872)


       
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