A FALSE STEP
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
1809 - 1861
Sweet ! thou hast trod on a heart;
Pass ! there's a world full of men;
And women as fair as thou art
Must do such things now and then.
Thou only has stepp'd unaware,
( Malice not one can impute );
And why should a heart have been there
In the way of a fair woman's foot?
It was not a stone that should trip,
Nor was it a thorn that could rend:
Put up thy proud under-lip !
'Twas merely the heart of a friend.
And yet, peradventure, one day
Thou sitting alone at the glass,
Remarking the bloom gone away,
Where the smile in its dimplement was,
And seeking around thee in vain,
From hundreds who flatter'd before,
Such a word as " O, not in the main
Do I hold thee less precious, but more; "
Thou wilt sigh, very like, on thy part ---
" Of all I have known or can know
I wish I had only that Heart
I trod upon ages ago ! "
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