The Auto Da Fé.

I bend o’er the flame as it burns,1
And feel its hot pitiless breath ;2
I ponder each word as it turns3
From life into meaningless death.4
And e’en as I gaze at the glare,5
Now flickering faintly, now fast,6
I read by the light of despair7
The joy of the hope that is past.8
Time was when each word that they spoke,9
Those letters so often read o’er,10
Old fancies and longings awoke11
By magic that soothed them before.12
From books I would eagerly turn13
To gloat o’er those falsely fair signs,14
For all that I once cared to learn15
I found in these fast fading lines.16
In ashes before me they lie ;17
The flame that destroyed them burns low :18
Ah ! would but their memory die19
And cease with these embers to glow !20
All dark ! yet I feel that they live ;21
My prayer with no answer has met.22
’Tis easy for love to forgive,23
But oh, it can never forget.24