Ella Wheeler Wilcox

5 November 1850 - 30 October 1919 / Johnstown Center / Rock County / Wisconsin

The Change

She leaned out into the soft June weather,
With her long loose tresses the night breeze played;
Her eyes were as blue as the bells on the heather:
Oh, what is so fair as a fair young maid!

She folded her hands, like the leaves of a lily,
'My life, ' she said, 'is a night in June,
Fair and quiet, and calm and stilly;
Bring me a change, O changeful moon!

'Who would drift on a lake forever?
Young hearts weary - it is not strange,
And sigh for the beautiful bounding river;
New moon, true moon, bring me a change! '

The rose that rivalled her maiden blushes
Dropped from her breast, at a strangers feet;
Only a glance; but the hot blood rushes
To mantle a fair face, shy and sweet.

To and fro, while the moon is waning,
They walk, and the stars shine on above;
And one is in earnest, and one is feigning -
Oh, what is so sweet as a sweet young love?

A young life crushed, and a young heart broken,
A bleak wind blows through the lovely bower,
And all that remains of the love vows spoken -
Is the trampled leaf of a faded flower.

The night is dark, for the moon is failing -
And what is so pale as a pale old moon?
Cold is the wind through the tree tops wailing -
Woe that the change should come so soon.
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