Lais when Old

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by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

   Lais, when old and all her beauty gone,
   Lais, the erstwhile courted pleasure queen,
   Walked homeless through Corinth.
      One mocked her mien—
   One tossed her coins; she took them and passed on.
   Down by the harbour sloped a terraced lawn,
      Where fountains played; she paused to view the scene.
      A marble palace stood in bowers of green
   ’Twas here of old she revelled till the dawn.

   Through yonder portico her lovers came—
      Hero and statesman, athlete, merchant, sage;
         They flung the whole world’s treasures at her feet
   To buy her favour and exalt her shame.

* * * * *


   She spat upon her dole of coins in rage
      And faded like a phantom down the street.

 

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