An hour ago when the wind blew high
At my lady’s window a red leaf beat.
Then dropped at her door, where, passing by,
She carelessly trod it under her feet.
I have taken it out of the dust and dirt,
With a tender pity but half defined.
Ah! poor bruised leaf, with your stain and hurt,
‘A fellow-feeling doth make us kind.’
On winds of passion my heart was blown,
Like an autumn leaf one hapless day.
At my lady’s window with tap and moan
It burned and fluttered its life away.
Bright with the blood of its wasting tide
It glowed in the sun of her laughing eyes.
What cared she though a stray heart died –
What to her were its sobs and sighs.
The winds of passion were spent at last,
And my heart like the leaf in her pathway lay;
And under her slender foot as she passed,
My lady she trod it and went her way.
So I picked the leaf from its dusty place,
With a tender pity -too well defined.
And I laid it here in this velvet case,
Ah! a fellow-feeling doth make us kind.
by ELLA WHEELER WILCOX (1855-1919)
Public Domain Poetry