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Edna St. Vincent Millay
Selected Works by
Edna St. Vincent Millay

I drank at every vine.
The last was like the first.
I came upon no wine
So wonderful as thirst.

I gnawed at every root.
I ate of every plant.
I came upon no fruit
So wonderful as want.

Feed the grape and bean
To the vintner and monger;
I will lie down lean
With my thirst and my hunger.

From The Harp-Weaver and other poems

The Philosopher
And what are you that, wanting you,
I should be kept awake
As many nights as there are days
With weeping for your sake?

And what are you that, missing you,
As many days as crawl
I should be listening to the wind
And looking at the wall?

I know a man that's a braver man
And twenty men as kind,
And what are you, that you should be
The one man in my mind?

Yet women's ways are witless ways,
As any sage will tell,
And what am I, that I should love
So wisely and so well?

From A Few Figs From Thistles

To The Not Impossible Him
How shall I know, unless I go
To Cairo and Cathay,
Whether or not this blessed spot
Is blest in every way?

Now it may be, the flower for me
Is this beneath my nose;
How shall I tell, unless I smell
The Carthaginian rose?

The fabric of my faithful love
No power shall dim or ravel
Whilst I stay here, - but oh, my dear,
If I should ever travel!

From A Few Figs From Thistles

First Fig
My candle burns at both ends;
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends -
It gives a lovely light!

Second Fig
Safe upon the solid rock
the ugly houses stand:
Come and see my shining palace
built upon the sand!

From A Few Fig From Thistles

Was it for this I uttered prayers,
And sobbed and cursed
and kicked the stairs -
That now, domestic as a plate,
I should retire at half-past eight!

From A Few Figs From Thistles
I know what my heart is like
Since your love died:
It is like a hollow ledge
Holding a little pool
Left there by the tide,
A little tepid pool,
Drying inward from the edge.

From Second April

The Sonnets by Millay

Millay Biographic Sketch
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