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About this Poem 

“Friendship After Love” by Ella Wheeler Wilcox appeared in Wilcox’s most famous collection, Poems of Passion (1883).

Friendship After Love

After the fierce midsummer all ablaze
    Has burned itself to ashes, and expires
    In the intensity of its own fires,
There come the mellow, mild, St. Martin days
Crowned with the calm of peace, but sad with haze.
    So after Love has led us, till he tires
    Of his own throes, and torments, and desires,
Comes large-eyed friendship: with a restful gaze,
He beckons us to follow, and across
    Cool verdant vales we wander free from care.
    Is it a touch of frost lies in the air?
Why are we haunted with a sense of loss?
We do not wish the pain back, or the heat;
And yet, and yet, these days are incomplete.

This poem is in the public domain.

This poem is in the public domain.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Ella Wheeler Wilcox was born in 1850 in Johnstown Center, Wisconsin. Her poetry collections include Poems of Passion (W. B. Conkey Company, 1883) and Poems of Peace (Gay & Bird, 1906).

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In that great journey of the stars through space
     About the mighty, all-directing Sun,
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Pale with the swift, keen purpose of that race,
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To sin by silence, when we should protest,
Makes cowards out of men. The human race
Has climbed on protest. Had no voice been raised
Against injustice, ignorance, and lust,
The inquisition yet would serve the law,
And guillotines decide our least disputes.
The few who dare, must speak

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Oh, a word is a gem, or a stone, or a song,
   Or a flame, or a two-edged sword;
Or a rose in bloom, or a sweet perfume,
   Or a drop of gall is a word.
 
You may choose your word like a connoisseur,
   And polish it up with art,
But the word