Eugene Field

The Broken Ring

To the willows of the brookside
  The mill wheel sings to-day—
    Sings and weeps,
    As the brooklet creeps
  Wondering on its way;
And here is the ring she gave me
  With love's sweet promise then—
    It hath burst apart
    Like the trusting heart
  That may never be soothed again!

Oh, I would be a minstrel
  To wander far and wide,
Weaving in song the merciless wrong
  Done by a perjured bride!
Or I would be a soldier,
  To seek in the bloody fray
What gifts of fate can compensate
  For the pangs I suffer to-day!

Yet may this aching bosom,
  By bitter sorrow crushed,
    Be still and cold
    In the churchyard mould
  Ere thy sweet voice be hushed;
So sing, sing on forever,
  O wheel of the brookside mill,
    For you mind me again
    Of the old time when
  I felt love's gracious thrill.

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