Famous Family Poem

Ella Wheeler Wilcox was an American poet who lived from 1850-1919. She was known as a poet even before she graduated high school. Many of her poems touch on themes of family and relationships. In this poem, The wife wants her husband to demonstrate he still loves her, "to prove the life of love", by spending quality time over the holiday with her and their children. Quality time on a holiday is how to take care of your family and demonstrate your love, not gifts! The Husband doesn't get it. He thinks she doesn't appreciate his hard work. He is running a business to take care of her, he just bought her a valuable gift and yet she still wants more from him.

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Famous Poem

A Holiday

Ella Wheeler Wilcox By more Ella Wheeler Wilcox

The Wife
The house is like a garden,
The children are the flowers,
The gardener should come methinks
And walk among his bowers,
Oh! lock the door on worry
And shut your cares away,
Not time of year, but love and cheer,
Will make a holiday.

The Husband
Impossible! You women do not know
The toil it takes to make a business grow.
I cannot join you until very late,
So hurry home, nor let the dinner wait.

The Wife
The feast will be like Hamlet
Without a Hamlet part:
The home is but a house, dear,
Till you supply the heart.
The Xmas gift I long for
You need not toil to buy;
Oh! give me back one thing I lack -
The love-light in your eye.

The Husband
Of course I love you, and the children too.
Be sensible, my dear, it is for you
I work so hard to make my business pay.
There, now, run home, enjoy your holiday.

The Wife (turning)
He does not mean to wound me,
I know his heart is kind.
Alas! that man can love us
And be so blind, so blind.
A little time for pleasure,
A little time for play;
A word to prove the life of love
And frighten care away!
Tho' poor my lot in some small cot
That were a holiday.

The Husband (musing)
She has not meant to wound me, nor to vex -
Zounds! but 'tis difficult to please the sex.
I've housed and gowned her like a very queen
Yet there she goes, with discontented mien.
I gave her diamonds only yesterday:
Some women are like that, do what you may.


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