At twilight, vis-a-vis with fate,
She sat, unhappy and alone,
Her milestones numbered forty-eight,
No other pathway crossed her own.
No tender voice robbed age of gloom,
No smiling faces cheered her sight.
There only glided through the room
The phantom of a dead delight.
"How dim and drear the pathway seems,"
She said, "to me at forty-eight;
Long since I wakened from my dreams--
I seek for naught, for nothing wait.
"I am like one who blindly gropes
Toward fading sunsets in the west;
Behind me lie youth's shattered hopes:
What can I ask for now but rest?
"Some joys I sought with heart on fire
Would find me now, but all too late--
I watched ambition's funeral pyre
Burn down ere I was forty-eight.
"With naught to hope, expect or win;
This lonely lot remains to me,
To count the wrecks of what 'Has been'
And know that nothing more can be."
Too sad to weep, to tired to pray;
Alone she sat at forty-eight,
While sunset colors paled to gray--
How desolate, how desolate!
--Ella Wheeler Wilcox in Frank Leslie's.
The Times-Democrat [New Orleans] 7 Sept. 1885: 7.
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