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 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.

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


Back to Poem Index