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. Published in Poem-a-Day on July 1, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.