The Little Lady of the Bullock Cart

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by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

   Now is the time when India is gay
   With wedding parties; and the radiant throngs
   Seem like a scattered rainbow taking part
   In human pleasures. Dressed in bright array,
   They fling upon the bride their wreaths of songs—
   The Little Lady of the Bullock Cart.

   Here is the temple ready for the rite:
   The large-eyed bullocks halt; and waiting arms
   Lift down the bride. All India’s curious art
   Speaks in the gems with which she is bedight.
   And in the robes which hide her sweet alarms—
   The Little Lady of the Bullock Cart.

   This is her day of days: her splendid hour
   When joy is hers, though love is all unknown.
   It has not dawned upon her childish heart.
   But human triumph, in a temporal power,
   Has crowned her queen upon a one-day throne—
   The Little Lady of the Bullock Cart.

   Ah, Little Lady! What will be your fate?
   So long, so long, the outward-reaching years:
   So brief the joy of this elusive part;
   So frail the shoulders for the loads that wait:
   So bitter salt the virgin widow’s tears—
   O Little Lady of the Bullock cart.

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