A Leaf

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A Leaf
by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
From Poems of Cheer (1910)

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 own right -
   Mine for ever 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 dear -
   When somebody mentioned your name last night.


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1923.

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 80 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.