Ella Wheeler Wilcox

5 November 1850 - 30 October 1919 / Johnstown Center / Rock County / Wisconsin

The Belle's Soliloquy

Heigh Ho! Well, the season’s over!
Once again we’ve come to Lent!
Programme’s changes from balls and parties –
Now we’re ordered to repent.
Forty days of self-denial!
Tell you what, I think it pays –
Know’t’l freshen my complexion
Going slow for forty days.

No more savoury French suppers –
Such as Madame R- can give.
Well, I need a little thinning –
Just a trifle – sure’s you live!
Sometimes been afraid my plumpness
Might grow into downright fat.
Rector urges need of fasting –
Think there’s lot of truth in that.

We must meditate, he tells us,
On our several acts of sin,
And repent them. Let me see now –
Whereabouts shall I begin!
Flirting – yes, they say ‘tis wicked;
Well, I’m awful penitent.
(Wonder if my handsome major
Goes to early Mass though Lent?)

Love of dress! I’m guilty there too –
Guess it’s my besetting sin.
Still I’m somewhat like the lillies,
For I neither toil or spin.
Forty days I’ll wear my plainest –
Could repentance be more true?
What a saving on my dresses!
They’ll make over just like new.

Pride, and worldliness and all that,
Rector bade us pray about
Every day through Lenten season,
And I mean to be devout!
Papa always talks entrenchment –
Lent is just the very thing.
Hope he’ll get enough in pocket
So we’ll move up town next spring.
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