A Tuft of Meadow-Sweet
A Tuft of withered meadow-sweet,
Just that and nothing more:
And yet what hosts of memories fleet
The dry old fronds restore!
A tuft of withered meadow-sweet,
No gaudy pink or rose;
And yet the dried-up leaves I see,
Long scorned of butterfly and bee,
Are holier, dearer, unto me
Than any flower that blows —
Than any flower that blows, my love,
Than any flower that blows!
For once — ah heaven! how long ago —
You have forgotten quite —
Where over the blue waters' flow
Wild sea-birds' wings shine white,
You picked a tuft of meadow-sweet
(This very tuft I hold):
You plucked the flower and quite forgot
The flower, the scene, the youth, the spot;
You chose to share another's lot,
And share another's gold;
You scorned the flower, but I did not,
And do not, though I'm old!
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