Unsatisfied

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by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

The bird flies home to its young;
The flower folds its leaves about an opening bud;
And in my neighbour’s house there is the cry of a child.
I close my window that I need not hear.

She is mine, and she is very beautiful:
And in her heart there is no evil thought.
There is even love in her heart -
Love of life, love of joy, love of this fair world,
And love of me (or love of my love for her);
Yet she will never consent to bear me a child.
And when I speak of it she weeps,
Always she weeps, saying:
‘Do I not bring joy enough into your life?
Are you not satisfied with me and my love,
As I am satisfied with you?
Never would I urge you to some great peril
To please my whim; yet ever so you urge me,
Urge me to risk my happiness - yea, life itself -
So lightly do you hold me.’ And then she weeps,
Always she weeps, until I kiss away her tears
And soothe her with sweet lies, saying I am content.
Then she goes singing through the house like some bright bird
Preening her wings, making herself all beautiful,
Perching upon my knee, and pecking at my lips
With little kisses. So again love’s ship
Goes sailing forth upon a portless sea,
From nowhere unto nowhere; and it takes
Or brings no cargoes to enrich the world.

The years
Are passing by us. We will yet be old
Who now are young. And all the man in me
Cries for the reproduction of myself
Through her I love. Why, love and youth like ours
Could populate with gods and goddesses
This great, green earth, and give the race new types
Were it made fruitful! Often I can see,
As in a vision, desolate old age
And loneliness descending on us two,
And nowhere in the world, nowhere beyond the earth,
Fruit of my loins and of her womb to feed
Our hungry hearts. To me it seems
More sorrowful than sitting by small graves
And wetting sad-eyed pansies with our tears.

The bird flies home to its young;
The flower folds its leaves about an opening bud;
And in my neighbour’s house there is the cry of a

 
from Poems of Optimism by Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1919)

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