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Sarah Morgan Bryan Piatt (1836-1919)

An After-Poem


              1You will read, or you will not read,
              2    That the lilies are whitest after they wither;
              3That the fairest buds stay shut in the seed,
              4    Though the bee in the dew say  “Come you up hither.”

              5You have seen, if you were not blind,
              6    That the moon can be crowded into a crescent,
              7And promise us light that we never can find
              8    When the midnights are wide and yellow and pleasant.

              9You will or, you will not know,
            10    That the seas to the sun can fling their foam only,
            11And keep all their terrible waters below
            12    With the jewels and dead men quiet and lonely.


Online text copyright © 2004, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: A Woman’s Poems (Boston: James R. Osgood, 1871).
First publication date: 9 April 1871
Publication date note: Palace-Burner: The Selected Poetry of Sarah Piatt, ed. Paula Bennett (Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2001): 18.
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: 2004
Recent editing: 1:2004/4/2

Form: quatrains
Rhyme: abab


Other poems by Sarah Morgan Bryan Piatt