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Broken
by [?]


I.

Broken!
It’s only a ring–a plain, old ring,
Worn down to a thread almost–
Fling it away–the useless thing!
What value now can it boast?–
Fling it away!
Yet stay!–oh stay
Ere you cast it away!
There’s a tale of the vanished years
That ever will cling,
To that broken ring,
That hallows and endears–
Oh stay!
In vain!–in vain!–What matters it now
That tenderest memories cling
To that thread of gold so wasted and old–
Who cares for a broken ring?–
Fling it away!

II.

Broken!
It’s only a vase–an old, stone vase–
Ancient and out of style–
That has stood for years in the chimney place,
Provoking many a smile–
Throw it away!
Yet stay!–that vase
Held honored place
In the sight of prince and peer
And the flowers it held
Were gathered of old
By the lovely and the dear!–
Oh stay!
In vain!–In vain!–What matters it now
How honored was once its place!
It is broken, and old, and the hearts are cold
That cherished the old stone vase–
Throw it away!

III.

Broken!
It’s only a promise–as light as air–
Though earnestly, solemnly given,
Made to be broken–yet who should care?–
Do you think it was heard in Heaven?–
Break it to day!
Yet stay!–that breath
Is a blast of death
To an innocent human heart!
Unsay the word,
For God has heard!
And He taketh the wronged one’s part—
Break it not to-day!
In vain!–in vain!–What matters it now?
It was only a breath–no more!
A faithless promise–a traitor’s vow–
Such things have happened before–
It’s broken to-day!

IV.

Broken!
It’s only a heart–a human heart–
That has throbbed for years and years,
With the burning pain and the cruel smart
Whose agony knows no tears–
Cast it away’
Yet stay!–oh stay!
A father, grey
And sorrowful, prayed for her long
And a mother’s love
Bore to God above
The tale of her poor childs wrong!–
Cast it not away!
In vain!–‘Tis a story old and worn–
This story of falsehood’s art–
Of the harsh world’s withering blight and scorn,–
Who cares for the broken heart
That’s been cast away?