I opened a long closed drawer to-day,
And among the souvenirs stored away
Were the faded leaves of an old bouquet.

Those faded leaves were as white as snow,
With a background of green, to make them show,
When you gave them to me long years ago.

They carried me back in a flash of light
To a perfumed, perfect summer night,
And a rider who came on a steed of white.

I can see it all--how you rode down
Like a knight of old, from the dusty town,
With a passionate glow in your eyes of brown.

Again I stand by the garden gate,
While the golden sun slips low, and wait
And watch your coming, my love, my fate.

Young and handsome and debonair
You leap to my side in the garden there,
And I take your flowers, and call them fair.

Out of the west the glory dies,
As we stand under the sunset skies,
With love in our hearts, and love in our eyes.

Love too tender and love too great
To die with death, or to yield to fate;
But your restless steed tells the hour is late.

You mount him again and you ride away
Into the west that is growing gray.
Oh! turn the key on that dear bouquet.

It is dry and faded and I am old:
And the hand that gave it is green with mould,
And the winter of life is cold--so cold.

Yesterdays. By Ella Wheeler Wilcox.
London: Gay & Hancock, 1916.

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