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By Ella Wheeler Wilcox

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.


Source: American Poetry: The Nineteenth Century Volume Two (The Library of America, 1993)

Poet Bio

Ella Wheeler Wilcox was born in Johnstown, Wisconsin and her poetry was being published by the time she graduated from high school. Her poetry was very popular, generally written in plain, rhyming verse. Her works include Poems of Passion (1883), A Woman of the World (1904), Poems of Peace (1906), Poems of Experience (1910), and Poems (1919).

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