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Ella Wheeler Wilcox - Penalty

Because of the fullness of what I had, 
All that I have seems poor and vain. 
If I had not been happy, I were not sad-- 
Tho' my salt is savorless, why complain?

From the ripe perfection of what was mine, 
All that is mine seems worse than naught; 
Yet I know, as I sit in the dark and pine, 
No cup can be drained which has not been fraught.

From the throb and the thrill of a day that was, 
The day that now is seems dull with gloom; 
Yet I bear the dullness and darkness, because 
'Tis but the reaction of glow and bloom.

From the royal feast that of old was spread 
I am starved on the diet that now is mine; 
Yet, I could not turn hungry from water and bread 
If I had not been sated on fruit and wine. 

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Poet: Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Poem: Penalty
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