Edith Wharton

24 January 1862 – 11 August 1937 / New York City / United States


WE women want too many things;
And first we call for happiness, -
The careless boon the hour brings,
The smile, the song, and the caress.
And when the fancy fades, we cry,
Nay, give us one on whom to spend
Our heart's desire! When Love goes by
With folded wings, we seek a friend.
And then our children come, to prove
Our hearts but slumbered, and can wake;
And when they go, we're fain to love
Some other woman's for their sake.
But when both love and friendship fail,
We cry for duty, work to do;
Some end to gain beyond the pale
Of self, some height to journey to.
And then, before our task is done,
With sudden weariness oppressed,
We leave the shining goal unwon
And only ask for rest.
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