It is soiled, and quite passé,
    Broken too, and out of fashion,
But it stirs my heart some way,
As I hold it here to-day,
    With a dead year's grace and passion.
       Oh, my pretty fan!

Precious dream and thrilling strain,
    Rise up from that vanished season;
Back to heart and nerve and brain
Sweeps the joy as keen as pain,
    Joy that asks no cause or reason.
       Oh, my dainty fan!

Hopes that perished in a night
    Gaze at me like spectral faces;
Grim despair and lost delight,
Sorrow long since gone from sight---
    All are hiding in these laces.
       Oh, my broken fan!

Let us lay the thing away---
    I am sadder now, and older;
Fled the ball-room and the play---
You have had your foolish day,
    And the night and life are colder.
       Exit---little fan!

Poetical works of Ella Wheeler Wilcox. by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Edinburgh : W. P. Nimmo, Hay, & Mitchell, 1917.

Back to Poem Index