Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

(27 February 1807 – 24 March 1882 / Portland, Maine)

Aftermath


When the summer fields are mown,
When the birds are fledged and flown,
And the dry leaves strew the path;
With the falling of the snow,
With the cawing of the crow,
Once again the fields we mow
And gather in the aftermath.
Not the sweet, new grass with flowers
Is this harvesting of ours;
Not the upland clover bloom;
But the rowen mixed with weeds,
Tangled tufts from marsh and meads,
Where the poppy drops its seeds
In the silence and the gloom.

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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  • Elaine Deering (4/15/2008 9:31:00 PM)

    I think this is a beautiful poem! The word 'Aftermath, ' usually associated with tragic events, here has a second meeting-a second harvest that occurs when the fall harvest stirs the seeds around and causes new growth, weeks later, when winter is upon us. The rhyme scheme is pleasing, the images of tiny flowers among the underbrush are unexpected, and the message is that honest labor has its own rewards. (Report) Reply

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