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.

Poems of Love by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Chicago: M.A.Donohue, 1905.


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