Ella Wheeler Wilcox (5 November 1850 - 30 October 1919 / Johnstown Center / Rock County / Wisconsin)
Only A Sad Mistake
Only a blunder-a sad mistake;
All my own fault and mine alone.
The saddest error a heart can make;
I was so young, or I would have known.
Only his rare, sweet, tender smile;
Only a lingering touch of his hand.
I think I was dreaming all the while,
The reason I did not understand.
Yet, somewhere, I've read men woo this way;
That eyes speak, sometimes, before the tongue.
And I was sure he would speak some day;
Pardon the folly-I was so young.
Was I, say-for now I am old!
So old, it seems like a hundred years
Since I felt my heart growing hard and cold
With a pain too bitter and deep for tears.
I saw him lean over the stranger's chair,
With a warm, new light in his beautiful eyes;
And I woke from my dreaming, then and there,
And went out of my self-made Paradise.
He never loved me-I know, I see!
Such sad, sad blunders as young hearts make.
She did not win him away from me,
For he was not mine. It was my mistake.
A woman should wait for a man to speak
Before she dreams of his love, I own;
But I was a girl-girls' hearts are weak;
And the pain, like the fault, is mine alone.
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