Glancing o’er a childish volume where sweet thoughts like blossoms lay,
There between two oft read pages, a pressed wreath I found to-day.
Golden-rod and aster flowers lay with bloom all crushed and dead,
But a maple leaf among them still retained its gold and red.
In my hand I took the treasure, held it up before my face,
And the sunlight, then declining, solved its geometric grace.
Many a road and by-path meeting proved the interwoven veins;
And a forest rose before me, flaming like my window panes.
As a vision that is pictured by an angel in the night,
Soon a figure, sometime vanished, rose to my exultant sight.
Like a goddess of enchantment, there she stood beneath the trees,
And her face was like a lily, and her eyes like summer seas.
Then I thought, “For me she’s waiting”—so I glanced off to the right,
For I feared it all a fancy, but I found my home in sight;
Heard the town-clock slowly striking, and the same familiar bells,
Saw the court-house and the churches, and “The Summit,” where she dwells.
So I then no longer doubted, down a meadow path I strolled,
Leading off into the woodland that had stole the sunset’s gold.
Overhead the birds were flying, but a black winged happy throng
Paused; for we had been old comrades and they sang a farewell song.
But the thoughts that followed after, though the birds away had flown,
Were so happy, for she met me, linked her arm within my own.
Up and down the path we wandered, gathering leaves and grasses gray,
Until darkness drove the twilight o’er the hill where fled the day.
Darkness! and her face had vanished, all alone I seemed to stand,
But I heard her step departing, and I grasped again her hand.
Held it tight, and tighter pressing, in a happy strange belief,
Till I ’woke, and found that dreaming I had crushed my treasured leaf.