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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–1882). Complete Poetical Works. 1893.

Birds of Passage

Flight the Third. Aftermath

  • This poem, placed last in the book, gave title to the volume published in 1873, which contained the third part of Tales of a Wayside Inn and the third flight of Birds of Passage. The completion of the Tales on his sixty-sixth birthday may have given rise to this poem.

  • 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.