A Leaf

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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.

by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
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