Long Ago

I loved a maiden, long ago,
She held within her hand my fate;
And in the ruddy sunset glow
We lingered at the garden gate.

The splendor of the western skies
Lay in a halo on her hair.
I gazed with worship in her eyes,
And deemed her true and knew her fair.

'Good night,' I said, and turned away;
She held me with her subtle smile.
I saw her red lips whisper 'stay,'
And so I lingered yet awhile.

'I love you, love you, sweet!' I said,
She laughed, and whispered, 'I love you.'
I kissed her small mouth, ripe and red,
And knew her fair, and deemed her true.

'Twas very, very long ago,
And I was young, and so was she;
My faith as love was strong, for oh!
The maid was all the world to me.

But as the sunset died away
And left the heavens cold and blue,
So died my dream of love one day.
The maid was only fair,
not
true.

by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

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