Is it done?
It is done! in the fire's fitful flashes,
The last line has withered and curled.
In a tiny white heap of dead ashes
Lie buried the hopes of your world.
There were mad foolish vows in each letter,
It is well they have shrivelled and burned,
And the ring! oh, the ring was a fetter,
It was better removed and returned.
But ah, is it done? In the embers
Where letters and tokens were cast,
Have you burned up the heart that remembers,
And treasures its beautiful past?
Do you think in this swift reckless fashion
To ruthlessly burn and destroy
The months that were freighted with passion,
The dreams that were drunken with joy?
Can you burn up the rapture of kisses
That flashed from the lips to the soul,
Or the heart that grows sick for lost blisses
In spite of its strength of control?
Have you burned up the touch of warm fingers
That thrilled through each pulse and each vein,
Or the sound of a voice that still lingers
And hurts with a haunting refrain?
Is it done? is the life drama ended?
You have put all the lights out, and yet,
Though the curtain, rung down, has descended,
Can the actors go home and forget?
Ah, no! they will turn in their sleeping
With a strange restless pain in their hearts,
And in darkness, and anguish, and weeping,
Will dream they are playing their parts.
- by Ella Wheeler Wilcox