Thank Fate for foes! I hold mine dear
As valued friends. He cannot know
The zest of life who runneth here
His earthly race without a foe.

I saw a prize, “Run,” cried my friend;
“‘T is thine to claim without a doubt.”
But ere I half-way reached the end,
I felt my strength was giving out.

My foe looked on the while I ran;
A scornful triumph lit his eyes.
With that perverseness born in man
I nerved myself, and won the prize.

All blinded by the crimson glow
Of sin’s disguise I tempted Fate.
“I knew thy weakness!” sneered my foe,
I saved myself, and balked his hate.

For half my blessings, half my gain,
I needs must thank my trusty foe;
Despite his envy and disdain,
He serves me well wher’er I go.

So may I keep him to the end,
Nor may his enmity abate;
More faithful that the fondest friend,
He guards me with his hate.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Ella Wheeler Wilcox's poem Foes

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Do you have any comments, criticism, paraphrasis or analysis of this poem that you feel would assist other visitors in understanding the meaning or the theme of this poem by Ella Wheeler Wilcox better? If accepted, your analysis will be added to this page of American Poems. Together we can build a wealth of information, but it will take some discipline and determination.