HEARTS POEM by Adelaide Anne Procter
Poetry from Legends and Lyrics Second Series.
ADELAIDE ANNE PROCTER VERSE: HEARTS POEM
A trinket made like a Heart, dear,
Of red gold, bright and fine,
Was given to me for a keepsake,
Given to me for mine.
And another heart, warm and tender,
As true as a heart could be;
And every throb that stirred it
Was always and all for me.
Sailing over the waters,
Watching the far blue land,
I dropped my golden heart, dear,
Dropped it out of my hand!
It lies in the cold blue waters,
Fathoms and fathoms deep,
The golden heart which I promised,
Promised to prize and keep.
Gazing at Life’s bright visions,
So false, and fair, and new,
I forgot the other heart, dear,
Forgot it and lost it too!
I might seek that heart for ever,
I might seek and seek in vain;—
And for one short, careless hour,
I pay with a life of pain.
The Heart?—Yes I wore it
As sign and as token
Of a love that once gave it,
A vow that was spoken;
But a love, and a vow, and a heart
Can be broken.
The Love?—Life and Death
Are crushed into a day,
So what wonder that Love
Should as soon pass away—
What wonder I saw it
Fade, fail, and decay.
The Vow?—why what was it,
It snapped like a thread:
Who cares for the corpse
When the spirit is fled?
Then I said, “Let the Dead rise
And bury its dead,
“While the true, living future
Grows pure, wise, and strong”
So I cast the gold heart,
I had worn for so long,
In the Lake, and bound on it
A Stone—and a Wrong!
Look, this little golden Heart
Was a true-love shrine
For a tress of hair; I held them,
Heart and tress, as mine,
Like the Love which gave the token
See to-day the Heart is broken!
Broken is the golden heart,
Lost the tress of hair;
Ah, the shrine is empty, vacant,
Desolate, and bare!
So the token should depart,
When Love dies within the heart.
Fast and deep the river floweth,
Floweth to the west;
I will cast the golden trinket
In its cold dark breast,—
Flow, oh river, deep and fast,
Over all the buried past!