He Came Too Late by Elizabeth Bogart – A Poem of Neglect

I have been reading and writing poetry since I was twelve. There are some poems that have special meaning for me for one reason or another, at some point in my life. This is one of them.

Born in New York City, Elizabeth Bogart was educated by her father, a minister and graduate of Columbia College (now Columbia Univ.). She published in a number of the literary periodicals, using the pen-name “Estelle.” Unlike many women poets of the day, Bogart was financially independent and thus did not write out of economic need. Her poem “He Came Too Late” was immensely popular and frequently reprinted. Her works were collected in Driftings from the Stream of Life (1866).


He came too late!–Neglect had tried
Her constancy too long;
Her love had yielded to her pride,
And the deep sense of wrong.
She scorned the offering of a heart
Which lingered on its way,
Till it could no delight impart,
Nor spread one cheering ray.
He came too late!–At once he felt
That all his power was o’er!
Indifference in her calm smile dwelt,
She thought of him no more.
Anger and grief had passed away,
Her heart and thoughts were free;
She met him and her words were gay,
No spell had memory.

He came too late!–the subtle chords
Of love were all unbound,
Not by offence of spoken words,
But by the slights that wound.
She knew that life held nothing now
That could the past repay,
Yet she disdained his tardy vow,
And coldly turned away.

He came too late!–Her countless dreams
Of hope had long since flown;
No charms dwelt in his chosen themes,
Nor in his whispered tone.
And when, with word and smile, he tried
Affection still to prove,
She nerved her heart with woman’s pride,
And spurned his fickle love.

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Published in: on November 3, 2009 at 2:13 pm  Leave a Comment  

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