Monday, 18 August 2014

Poetry Revisited: Burned Out by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Burned Out

(From Yesterdays: 1910)

Blow out the light: there is no oil to feed it:
That dim blue light unworthy of the name.
Better to sit with folded hands, I say,
And wait for night to pass, and bring the day,
Than to depend upon that flickering flame.

Take back your vow: there is no love to bind it:
Take back this little shining, golden thing.
Better to walk on bravely all alone,
Than strive to hold up, or retain our own,
By soulless pledge, or fetter of a ring.

When first the lamp was lit, too high you turned it;
The oil was wasted in a blinding blaze.
Your passion was too ardent in the start -
Set by the lamp: farewell. God gird the heart
Through darkened hours, and lone and loveless ways.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox
(1850-1919)

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