Thomas Hardy

The Last Leaf

‘The leaves throng thick above: –
Well, I’ll come back, dear Love,
When they all are down!’

She watched that August tree,
(None now scorned summer as she),
Till it broidered it brown.

And then October came blowing,
And the leaves showed signs they were going,
And she saw up through them.

O how she counted them then!
– November left her but ten,
And started to strew them.

‘Ah, when they all are gone,
And the skeleton-time comes on,
Whom shall I see!’

– When the fifteenth spread its sky
That month, her upturned eye
Could count but three.

And at the close of the week
A flush flapped over her cheek:
The last one fell.

But – he did not come. And, at length,
Her hope of him lost all strength,
And it was as a knell...

When he did come again,
Years later, a husband then,
Heavy somewhat,

With a smile she reminded him:
And he cried: ‘Ah, that vow of our whim! –
Which I forgot,

‘As one does! – And was that the tree?
So it was! – Dear me, dear me:
Yes: I forgot.’

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