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Poems of Passion/What Shall We Do?

Here now forevermore our lives must part.
        My path leads there, and yours another way.
What shall we do with this fond love, dear heart?
        It grows a heavier burden day by day.

Hide it? In all earth's caverns, void and vast,
        There is not room enough to hide it, dear;
Not even the mighty storehouse of the past
        Could cover it from our own eyes, I fear.

Drown it? Why, were the contents of each ocean
        Merged into one great sea, too shallow then
Would be its waters to sink this emotion
        So deep it could not rise to life again.

Burn it? In all the furnace flames below,
        It would not in a thousand years expire.
Nay! it would thrive, exult, expand, and grow,
        For from its very birth it fed on fire.

Starve it? Yes, yes, that is the only way.
        Give it no food, of glance, or word, or sigh;
No memories, even, of any bygone day;
        No crumbs of vain regrets—so let it die.


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1924.


The author died in 1919, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 99 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.