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She lay like a rose-leaf on his cup;
He scarcely knew she was there at all,
Until, like the leaves of early fall,
For their precious hue, she was gathered up.


He knew too late that the flower was gone;
No fragrance left in the cup for him:
Alas! that he did not clasp the brim
With tender hands in the early dawn


Of love, and save to himself the leaf.
To own is often to lose the prize:
We stumble along with blinded eyes,
And wake to losses and bitter grief.