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About this Poem 

"Aftermath" first appeared in April Twilights (The Gorham Press, 1903).

Aftermath

Can'st thou conjure a vanished morn of spring,
     Or bid the ashes of the sunset glow
Again to redness? Are we strong to wring
     From trodden grapes the juice drunk long ago?
Can leafy longings stir in Autumn's blood,
     Or can I wear a pearl dissolved in wine,
Or go a-Maying in a winter wood,
     Or paint with youth thy wasted cheek, or mine?
What bloom, then, shall abide, since ours hath sped?
     Thou art more lost to me than they who dwell
In Egypt's sepulchres, long ages fled;
     And would I touch—Ah me! I might as well
Covet the gold of Helen's vanished head,
     Or kiss back Cleopatra from the dead!

This poem is in the public domain.

This poem is in the public domain.

Willa Cather

Willa Cather

Willa Cather was born near Gore, Virginia, in 1873.

by this poet

poem
Alas, that June should come when thou didst go;
I think you passed each other on the way;
And seeing thee, the Summer loved thee so
That all her loveliness she gave away;
Her rare perfumes, in hawthorn boughs distilled,
Blushing, she in thy sweeter bosom left,
poem
Behind the arch of glory sets the day;
The river lies in curves of silver light,
The Fields Elysian glitter in a spray
Of golden dust; the gilded dome is bright,
The towers of Notre Dame cut clean and gray
The evening sky, and pale from left to right
A
poem
A bitter doom they did upon her place:
She might not touch his hand nor see his face
The while he led her up from death and dreams
Into his world of bright Arcadian streams.
For all of him she yearned to touch and see,
Only the sweet ghost of his melody;