Poetry Appearing in Poetry In Motion® New York

Let No Charitable Hope

Elinor Wylie

Now let no charitable hope
Confuse my mind with images
Of eagle and of antelope:
I am in nature none of these.

I was, being human, born alone;
I am, being woman, hard beset;
I live by squeezing from a stone
The little nourishment I get.

In masks outrageous and austere
The years go by in single file;
But none has merited my fear,
And none has quite escaped my smile.

* * *

"Let No Charitable Hope" from Collected Poems by Elinor Wylie. Copyright © 1932 by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., renewed 1960 by Edwina C. Rubenstein. Reprinted with the permission of Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.


Back to New York