by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
They stood at the garden gate.
By the lifting of a lid
She might have read her fate
In a little thing he did.
He plucked a beautiful flower;
Tore it away from its place
On the side of the blooming bower;
And held it against his face.
Drank in its beauty and bloom,
In the midst of his idle talk;
Then cast it down to the gloom
And dust of the garden walk.
Ay, trod it under his foot,
As it lay in his pathway there;
Then spurned it away with his boot,
Because it bad ceased to be fair.
Ah! the maiden might have read
The doom of her young life then;
But she looked in his eyes instead,
And thought him the king of men.
She looked in his eyes and blushed,
She hid in his strong arms’ fold;
And the tale of the flower, crushed
And spurned, was once more told.