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  Broken  

 

I.

                        Broken!
    It's only a ring--a plain, old ring,
        Worn down to a thread almost--
    Fling it away--the useless thing!
        What value now can it boast?--
                Fling it away!
            Yet stay!--oh stay
                Ere you cast it away!
        There's a tale of the vanished years
            That ever will cling,
                To that broken ring,
        That hallows and endears--
                        Oh stay!
In vain!--in vain!--What matters it now
    That tenderest memories cling
To that thread of gold so wasted and old--
    Who cares for a broken ring?--
                Fling it away!

II.

                        Broken!
    It's only a vase--an old, stone vase--
        Ancient and out of style--
    That has stood for years in the chimney place,
        Provoking many a smile--
                Throw it away!
            Yet stay!--that vase
                Held honored place
        In the sight of prince and peer
            And the flowers it held
                Were gathered of old
        By the lovely and the dear!--
                        Oh stay!
In vain!--In vain!--What matters it now
How honored was once its place!
It is broken, and old, and the hearts are cold
That cherished the old stone vase--
                Throw it away!

III.

                        Broken!
    It's only a promise--as light as air--
        Though earnestly, solemnly given,
    Made to be broken--yet who should care?--
        Do you think it was heard in Heaven?--
                Break it to day!
            Yet stay!--that breath
                Is a blast of death
        To an innocent human heart!
            Unsay the word,
                For God has heard!
        And He taketh the wronged one's part---
                Break it not to-day!
In vain!--in vain!--What matters it now?
It was only a breath--no more!
A faithless promise--a traitor's vow--
Such things have happened before--
                It's broken to-day!

IV.

                        Broken!
    It's only a heart--a human heart--
        That has throbbed for years and years,
    With the burning pain and the cruel smart
        Whose agony knows no tears--
                Cast it away'
            Yet stay!--oh stay!
                A father, grey
        And sorrowful, prayed for her long
            And a mother's love
                Bore to God above
        The tale of her poor childs wrong!--
                Cast it not away!
In vain!--'Tis a story old and worn--
This story of falsehood's art--
Of the harsh world's withering blight and scorn,--
Who cares for the broken heart
                That's been cast away?

       - Mrs. J. C. Yule


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