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The Captive
a poem by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

THE CAPTIVE
Ella Wheeler Wilcox

My lady is robed for the ball to-night, 
All in a shimmer and silken sheen. 
She glides down the stairs like a thing of light, 
The ballroom's beautiful queen. 

Priceless gems on her bosom glow-- 
Half hid by laces a queen might wear. 
Robed is she, as befits, you know, 
The wife of a millionaire. 

Gliding along at her liege lord's side, 
Out-shining all in that company, 
Into the mind of the old man's bride 
There creeps a curious simile. 

She thinks how once in the Long Ago, 
A beautiful captive, all aflame 
With jewels that weighed her down like woe, 
Close in the wake of her captor came. 

All day long in that mocking plight, 
She followed him in a dumb despair; 
And the people thought her a goodly sight, 
Decked in her jewels rare. 

And now at her lawful master's side, 
With a pain in her heart, as great as then 
(So thinks this old man's beautiful bride), 
Zenobia walks again. 

 

 
The Captive a poem by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

 

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