The Consignment

By Hannah Flagg Gould

Fire, my hand is on the key,
And the cabinet must ope!
I shall now consign to thee,
Things of grief, of joy, of hope.
Treasured secrets of the heart
To thy care I hence entrust:
Not a word must thou impart,
But reduce them all to dust.

This — in childhood’s rosy morn
This was gaily filled and sent.
Childhood is forever gone;
Here — devouring element.
This was friendship’s cherished pledge;
Friendship took a colder form:
Creeping on its gilded edge,
May the blaze be bright and warm!

These — the letter and the token,
Never more shall meet my view!
When the faith has once been broken,
Let the memory perish too!
This — ‘t was penned while purest joy
Warmed the heart and lit the eye:
Fate that peace did soon destroy;
And its transcript now will I!

This must go! for, on the seal
When I broke the solemn yew,
Keener was the pang than steel;
‘T was a heart-string breaking too!
Here comes up the blotted leaf ,
Blistered o’er by many a tear.
Hence! thou waking shade of grief!
Go, forever disappear!

This is his, who seemed to be
High as heaven, and fair as light;
But the visor rose, and he —
Spare, O memory! spare the sight
Of the face that frowned beneath,
While I take it, hand and name,
And entwine it with a wreath
Of the purifying flame!

These — the hand is in the grave,
And the soul is in the skies,
Whence they came! ‘T is pain to save
Cold remains of sundered ties!
Go together, all, and burn,
Once the treasures of my heart!
Still, my breast shall be an urn
To preserve your better part!

Fire, my hand is on the key,
And the cabinet must ope!
I shall now consign to thee,
Things of grief, of joy, of hope.
Treasured secrets of the heart
To thy care I hence entrust:
Not a word must thou impart,
But reduce them all to dust.

This — in childhood’s rosy morn
This was gaily filled and sent.
Childhood is forever gone;
Here — devouring element.
This was friendship’s cherished pledge;
Friendship took a colder form:
Creeping on its gilded edge,
May the blaze be bright and warm!

These — the letter and the token,
Never more shall meet my view!
When the faith has once been broken,
Let the memory perish too!
This — ‘t was penned while purest joy
Warmed the heart and lit the eye:
Fate that peace did soon destroy;
And its transcript now will I!

This must go! for, on the seal
When I broke the solemn yew,
Keener was the pang than steel;
‘T was a heart-string breaking too!
Here comes up the blotted leaf ,
Blistered o’er by many a tear.
Hence! thou waking shade of grief!
Go, forever disappear!

This is his, who seemed to be
High as heaven, and fair as light;
But the visor rose, and he —
Spare, O memory! spare the sight
Of the face that frowned beneath,
While I take it, hand and name,
And entwine it with a wreath
Of the purifying flame!

These — the hand is in the grave,
And the soul is in the skies,
Whence they came! ‘T is pain to save
Cold remains of sundered ties!
Go together, all, and burn,
Once the treasures of my heart!
Still, my breast shall be an urn
To preserve your better part!

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