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Aline Murray Kilmer


Aline Murray Kilmer was born in Norfolk, Virginia, in 1888. Wife of the poet Joyce Kilmer, she was the author of five books of essays and poetry, most of which concerned war and loss, and two collections of children’s stories. Kilmer died in New Jersey in 1941.



Selected Poems (Doubleday, Doran & Company, 1929)
The Poor King's Daughter and Other Poems (George H. Doran Company, 1925)
Vigils (George H. Doran Company, 1921)
Candles That Burn (George H. Doran Company, 1919)

A Buttonwood Summer (Doubleday, Doran & Company, 1929)
Emmy, Nicky and Greg (George H. Doran Company, 1927)
Hunting a Hair Shirt and Other Spiritual Adventure (George H. Doran company, 1923)

By This Poet



If I had loved you, soon, ah, soon I had lost you.
Had I been kind you had kissed me and gone your faithless way.
The kiss that I would not give is the kiss that your lips are holding:
Now you are mine forever, because of all I have cost you.

You think that you are free and have given over your sighing,
You think that from my coldness your love has flown away:
But mine are the hands you shall dream that your own are holding,
And mine is the face you shall look for when you are dying.


I can never remake the thing I have destroyed;
   I brushed the golden dust from the moth’s bright wing,
I called down wind to shatter the cherry-blossoms,
   I did a terrible thing.

I feared that the cup might fall, so I flung it from me;
   I feared that the bird might fly, so I set it free;
I feared that the dam might break, so I loosed the river:
   May its waters cover me.