Ella Wheeler Wilcox (5 November 1850 - 30 October 1919 / Johnstown Center / Rock County / Wisconsin)
Dost thou not tire, Isaura, of this play?
'What play?' Why, this old play of winning hearts!
Nay, now, lift not thine eyes in that feigned way:
'Tis all in vain—I know thee and thine arts.
Let us be frank, Isaura. I have made
A study of thee; and while I admire
The practised skill with which thy plans are laid,
I can but wonder if thou dost not tire.
Why, I tire even of Hamlet and Macbeth!
When overlong the season runs, I find
Those master-scenes of passion, blood, and death,
After a time do pall upon my mind.
Dost thou not tire of lifting up thine eyes
To read the story thou hast read so oft—
Of ardent glances and deep quivering sighs,
Of haughty faces suddenly grown soft?
Is it not stale, oh, very stale, to thee,
The scene that follows? Hearts are much the same;
The loves of men but vary in degree—
They find no new expressions for the flame.
Thou must know all they utter ere they speak,
As I know Hamlet's part, whoever plays.
Oh, does it not seem sometimes poor and weak?
I think thou must grow weary of their ways.
I pity thee, Isaura! I would be
The humblest maiden with her dream untold
Rather than live a Queen of Hearts, like thee,
And find life's rarest treasures stale and old.
I pity thee; for now, let come what may,
Fame, glory, riches, yet life will lack all.
Wherewith can salt be salted? And what way
Can life be seasoned after love doth pall?
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