The Trio

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by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

We love but once. The great gold orb of light
From dawn to even-tide doth cast his ray;
But the full splendor of his perfect might
Is reached but once throughout the livelong day.

We love but once. The waves, with ceaseless motion,
Do day and night plash on the pebbled shore;
But the strong tide of the resistless ocean
Sweeps in but one hour of the twenty-four.

We love but once. A score of times, perchance,
We may be moved in fancy's fleeting fashion—
May treasure up a word, a tone, a glance;
But only once we feel the soul's great passion.

We love but once. Love walks with death and birth
(The saddest, the unkindest of the three);
And only once while we sojourn on earth
Can that strange trio come to you or me.

from Poems of Passion by Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1883)

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