Every-day Thoughts in Prose and Verse
by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
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When a Woman Grows Old.
    A Mature widow was deceived by a young
scapegrace of a lover recently, and almost led
to the altar before she discovered that he was no a
young nobleman.
    The widow, it is well to incidentally remark, was
    Another beautiful widow was married to and
recently divorced from a youth young enough to be
her son.
    There is no one on the face of the earth so easy
to make a fool of as a mature widow, unless it is a
mature widower.
    To the eyes of Autumn the vision of Spring is in-
deed beautiful.
    Youth loves youth; his maturity adores it.
    In the heat of the noon hour earth grows parched
for the morning dew.
    When a woman realizes that her youthful charms
are fading, a passionate longing for what she has lost
takes possession of her at times.
    I she has been admired of men, she is like an
inebriate gazing upon stimulants through other
people's windows, as she looks upon the world of
youth about her--a world where she finds herself
expected to occupy the position of chaperon.
    There are women to whom the position of fire-
tender in purgatory would be preferable to that of
a chaperon on earth.
    When upon such a woman, a man with young eyes
gazes admiringly, he does not need the tongue of an
orator or a poet to convince her that she is still
beautiful and that she is necessary to his happiness.
    One thirsting with fever does not say to the cup-
bearer: "You want to be paid for this draught--
that is why you brought it to me"--no, the thirst-
ing one says only: "How welcome the draught, and
how good you are."
    But afterward the bill is paid.  So the mature
woman, with the thirsting heart of youth, does not
question the design of her boy lover--she only
knows she is happy in his admiration and his love.
And afterward she pays the price.
    To the world it is a silly farce--to her it is a
tragedy.  The worlds laughs, and she weeps in
the privacy of her room.  She weeps not only at the
loss of her faith in the lover, but at her loss of faith
in her own charms--in the relinquishing of her last
vestige of feminine vanity and pride.
    Every day we hear of such cases.  They are so
frequent, that we wonder another foolish woman can
be led into the same old trap, which is not even
flower hid, but stands out in all its rusty ugliness
on the highway of life.
    Only the roses in the eyes of the romantic woman
who looks down the highway conceal it from her
    She gazes through a mist of noon sunshine and a
medley of bloom--the garden of sentiment--rioting
in her mind and heart, all unseen by the world,
which knows only that the roses have faded from
her cheeks, and that she is old enough to be sensible.
    But sense is a matter of brain cells, not of
years.  But what an excellent idea it would
be for widows with money or position to cultivate
the grey matter of their brains, and to realize that
young men--who might be their sons--do not seek
them in marriage without some selfish motive.
    If there have been one or two exceptional in-
stances on record, they are overwhelmed by the
vast majority of cases which end in disaster and
    Let the boys propose, dear ladies, if you want to
feel you can still make conquests of young men,
but keep your pride intact by declining their propo-
sitions of marriage.  They will not commit suicide
in consequence.
Every-day thoughts in prose and verse. by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Chicago: W. B. Conkey Company, 1901.
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