The Jealous Gods

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by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

   ‘Oh life is wonderful,’ she said,
   ‘And all my world is bright;
   Can Paradise show fairer skies,
   Or more effulgent light?’
   (Speak lower, lower, mortal heart,
   The jealous gods may hear.)

   She turned for answer; but his gaze
   Cut past her like a lance,
   And shone like flame on one who came
   With radiant glance for glance.
   (You spoke too loud, O mortal heart,
   The jealous gods were near.)

   They walked through green and sunlit ways;
   And yet the earth seemed black,
   For there were three, where two should be;
   So runs the world, alack.
   (The listening gods, the jealous gods,
   They want no Edens here.)

from An Englishman and Other Poems by Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1912)

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