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by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Changed? Yes, I will confess it—I have changed.
        I do not love in the old fond way.
I am your friend still—time has not estranged
        One kindly feeling of that vanished day.

But the bright glamour which made life a dream,
        The rapture of that time, its sweet content,
Like visions of a sleeper's brain they seem—
        And yet I cannot tell you how they went.

Why do you gaze with such accusing eyes
        Upon me, dear? Is it so very strange
That hearts, like all things underneath God's skies
        Should sometimes feel the influence of change?

The birds, the flowers, the foliage of the trees,
        The stars which seem so fixed and so sublime,
Vast continents and the eternal seas—
        All these do change with ever-changing time.

The face our mirror shows us year on year
        Is not the same; our dearest aim or need,
Our lightest thought or feeling, hope or fear,
        All, all the law of alteration heed.

How can we ask the human heart to stay
        Content with fancies of Youth's earliest hours?
The year outgrows the violets of May,
        Although, maybe, there are no fairer flowers.

And life may hold no sweeter love than this,
        Which lies so cold, so voiceless, and so dumb.
And shall I miss it, dear? Why, yes, we miss
        The violets always—till the roses come!

from Poems of Passion by Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1883)

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