Here you will find the Poem A Man's Repentance of poet Ella Wheeler Wilcox
To-night when I came from the club at eleven, Under the gaslight I saw a face- A woman's face! and I swear to heaven It looked like the ghastly ghost of-Grace! And Grace? why, Grace was fair; and I tarried, And loved her a season as we men do. And then-but pshaw! why, of course, she is married, Has a husband, and doubtless, a babe or two. She was perfectly calm on the day we parted; She spared me a scene, to my great surprise. She wasn't the kind to be broken-hearted, I remember she said, with a spark in her eyes. I was tempted, I know, by her proud defiance, To make good my promises there and then. But the world would have called it a mésalliance! I dreaded the comments and sneers of men. So I left her to grieve for a faithless lover, And to hide her heart from the cold world's sight As women do hide them, the wide earth over; My God! was it Grace that I saw to-night? I thought of her married, and often with pity, A poor man's wife in some dull place. And now to know she is here in the city, Under the gaslight, and with that face! Yet I knew it at once, in spite of the daubing Of paint and powder, and she knew me; She drew a quick breath that was almost sobbing, And shrank in the shade so I should not see. There was hell in her eyes! She was worn and jaded; Her soul is at war with the life she has led. As I looked on that face so strangely faded, I wonder God did not strike me dead. While I have been happy and gay and jolly, Received by the very best people in town, That girl whom I led in the way to folly, Has gone on recklessly down and down. Two o'clock, and no sleep has found me. That face I saw in the street-lamp's light Peers everywhere out from the shadows around me- I know how a murderer feels to-night!