I will not walk in the wood to-night, I will not stand by the water’s edge And see day lie on the dusk’s bright ledge Until it turn, a star at its breast, To rest. I will not see the wide-flung hills Closing darkly about my grief, I wore a crown of their lightest leaf, But now they press like a cold, blue ring, Imprisoning. I dare not meet that caroling blade, Jauntily drawn in the sunset pine, Stabbing me with its thrust divine, Knowing my naked, aching need, Till I bleed. Sheathe your song, invincible bird, Strike not at me with that flashing note, Have pity, have pity, persistent throat, Deliver me not to your dread delight To-night! I am afraid of the creeping wood, I am afraid of the furtive trees, Hiding behind them, memories, Ready to spring, to clutch, to tear, Wait for me there.
This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on March 10, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.
About this Poem
“After” was published in A Canopic Jar (E. P. Dutton & Company, 1921).
Date Published: 1921-01-01
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/after-1