Ella Wheeler Wilcox

(5 November 1850 - 30 October 1919 / Johnstown Center / Rock County / Wisconsin)

A Leaf


Somebody said, in the crowd, last eve,
That you were married, or soon to be.
I have not thought of you, I believe,
Since last we parted. Let me see:
Five long Summers have passed since then –
Each has been pleasant in its own way –
And you are but one of a dozen men
Who have played the suitor a Summer day.

But, nevertheless, when I heard your name,
Coupled with some one’s, not my own,
There burned in my bosom a sudden flame,
That carried me back to the day that is flown.
I was sitting again by the laughing brook,
With you at my feet, and the sky above,
And my heart was fluttering under your look –
The unmistakable look of Love.

Again your breath, like a South wind, fanned
My cheek, where the blushes came and went;
And the tender clasp of your strong, warm hand
Sudden thrills through my pulses sent.
Again you were mine by Love’s decree:
So for a moment it seemed last night,
When somebody mentioned your name to me.

Just for the moment I thought you mine –
Loving me, wooing me, as of old.
The tale remembered seemed half divine –
Though I held it lightly enough when told.
The past seemed fairer than when it was near,
As ‘blessings brighten when taking flight, ’
And just for the moment I held you near –
When somebody mentioned your name last night.

Submitted: Monday, May 26, 2003

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