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Best Famous Edna St Vincent Millay Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Edna St Vincent Millay poems. This is a select list of the best famous Edna St Vincent Millay poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Edna St Vincent Millay poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of Edna St Vincent Millay poems.

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Written by Edna St Vincent Millay |


 I should like to rise and go 
Where the golden apples grow;-- 
Where below another sky 
Parrot islands anchored lie, 
And, watched by cockatoos and goats, 
Lonely Crusoes building boats;-- 
Where in sunshine reaching out 
Eastern cities, miles about, 
Are with mosque and minaret 
Among sandy gardens set, 
And the rich goods from near and far 
Hang for sale in the bazaar;-- 
Where the Great Wall round China goes, 
And on one side the desert blows, 
And with the voice and bell and drum, 
Cities on the other hum;-- 
Where are forests hot as fire, 
Wide as England, tall as a spire, 
Full of apes and cocoa-nuts 
And the negro hunters' huts;-- 
Where the knotty crocodile 
Lies and blinks in the Nile, 
And the red flamingo flies 
Hunting fish before his eyes;-- 
Where in jungles near and far, 
Man-devouring tigers are, 
Lying close and giving ear 
Lest the hunt be drawing near, 
Or a comer-by be seen 
Swinging in the palanquin;-- 
Where among the desert sands 
Some deserted city stands, 
All its children, sweep and prince, 
Grown to manhood ages since, 
Not a foot in street or house, 
Not a stir of child or mouse, 
And when kindly falls the night, 
In all the town no spark of light.
There I'll come when I'm a man With a camel caravan; Light a fire in the gloom Of some dusty dining-room; See the pictures on the walls, Heroes fights and festivals; And in a corner find the toys Of the old Egyptian boys.

Written by Edna St Vincent Millay |


 If it were only still!—
With far away the shrill
Crying of a cock;
Or the shaken bell
From a cow's throat
Moving through the bushes;
Or the soft shock
Of wizened apples falling
From an old tree
In a forgotten orchard
Upon the hilly rock!

Oh, grey hill,
Where the grazing herd
Licks the purple blossom,
Crops the spiky weed!
Oh, stony pasture,
Where the tall mullein
Stands up so sturdy
On its little seed!

Written by Edna St Vincent Millay |


 No matter what I say,
All that I really love
Is the rain that flattens on the bay,
And the eel-grass in the cove;
The jingle-shells that lie and bleach
At the tide-line, and the trace
Of higher tides along the beach:
Nothing in this place.

More great poems below...

Written by Edna St Vincent Millay |

Justice Denied In Massachusetts

 Let us abandon then our gardens and go home
And sit in the sitting-room
Shall the larkspur blossom or the corn grow under this cloud?
Sour to the fruitful seed
Is the cold earth under this cloud,
Fostering quack and weed, we have marched upon but cannot
We have bent the blades of our hoes against the stalks of them.
Let us go home, and sit in the sitting room.
Not in our day Shall the cloud go over and the sun rise as before, Beneficent upon us Out of the glittering bay, And the warm winds be blown inward from the sea Moving the blades of corn With a peaceful sound.
Forlorn, forlorn, Stands the blue hay-rack by the empty mow.
And the petals drop to the ground, Leaving the tree unfruited.
The sun that warmed our stooping backs and withered the weed uprooted— We shall not feel it again.
We shall die in darkness, and be buried in the rain.
What from the splendid dead We have inherited — Furrows sweet to the grain, and the weed subdued — See now the slug and the mildew plunder.
Evil does overwhelm The larkspur and the corn; We have seen them go under.
Let us sit here, sit still, Here in the sitting-room until we die; At the step of Death on the walk, rise and go; Leaving to our children's children the beautiful doorway, And this elm, And a blighted earth to till With a broken hoe.

Written by Edna St Vincent Millay |

I Dreamed I Moved Among The Elysian Fields

 I dreamed I moved among the Elysian fields,
In converse with sweet women long since dead;
And out of blossoms which that meadow yields
I wove a garland for your living head.
Danai, that was the vessel for a day Of golden Jove, I saw, and at her side, Whom Jove the Bull desired and bore away, Europa stood, and the Swan's featherless bride.
All these were mortal women, yet all these Above the ground had had a god for guest; Freely I walked beside them and at ease, Addressing them, by them again addressed, And marvelled nothing, for remembering you, Wherefore I was among them well I knew.

Written by Edna St Vincent Millay |

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.

Written by Edna St Vincent Millay |

She is Overheard Singing

 OH, Prue she has a patient man,
And Joan a gentle lover,
And Agatha's Arth' is a hug-the-hearth,­
But my true love's a rover! 

Mig, her man's as good as cheese
And honest as a briar,
Sue tells her love what he's thinking of,­
But my dear lad's a liar! 

Oh, Sue and Prue and Agatha
Are thick with Mig and Joan!
They bite their threads and shake their heads
And gnaw my name like a bone; 

And Prue says, "Mine's a patient man,
As never snaps me up," 
And Agatha, "Arth' is a hug-the-hearth,
Could live content in a cup," 

Sue's man's mind is like good jell­
All one color, and clear­
And Mig's no call to think at all
What's to come next year, 

While Joan makes boast of a gentle lad,
That's troubled with that and this;­
But they all would give the life they live
For a look from the man I kiss! 

Cold he slants his eyes about,
And few enough's his choice,­
Though he'd slip me clean for a nun, or a queen,
Or a beggar with knots in her voice,­ 

And Agatha will turn awake
While her good man sleeps sound,
And Mig and Sue and Joan and Prue
Will hear the clock strike round, 

For Prue she has a patient man,
As asks not when or why, 
And Mig and Sue have naught to do
But peep who's passing by, 

Joan is paired with a putterer
That bastes and tastes and salts,
And Agatha's Arth' is a hug-the-hearth,­
But my true love is false!

Written by Edna St Vincent Millay |


 Just a rainy day or two
In a windy tower,
That was all I had of you—
Saving half an hour.
Marred by greeting passing groups In a cinder walk, Near some naked blackberry hoops Dim with purple chalk.
I remember three or four Things you said in spite, And an ugly coat you wore, Plaided black and white.
Just a rainy day or two And a bitter word.
Why do I remember you As a singing bird?

Written by Edna St Vincent Millay |

Love Is Not All

 Love is not all: it is not meat nor drink
Nor slumber nor a roof against the rain; 
Nor yet a floating spar to men that sink 
And rise and sink and rise and sink again; 
Love can not fill the thickened lung with breath, 
Nor clean the blood, nor set the fractured bone; 
Yet many a man is making friends with death 
Even as I speak, for lack of love alone.
It well may be that in a difficult hour, Pinned down by pain and moaning for release, Or nagged by want past resolution's power, I might be driven to sell your love for peace, Or trade the memory of this night for food.
It well may be.
I do not think I would.

Written by Edna St Vincent Millay |

Autumn Daybreak

 Cold wind of autumn, blowing loud
At dawn, a fortnight overdue,
Jostling the doors, and tearing through
My bedroom to rejoin the cloud,
I know—for I can hear the hiss
And scrape of leaves along the floor—
How may boughs, lashed bare by this,
Will rake the cluttered sky once more.
Tardy, and somewhat south of east, The sun will rise at length, made known More by the meagre light increased Than by a disk in splendour shown; When, having but to turn my head, Through the stripped maple I shall see, Bleak and remembered, patched with red, The hill all summer hid from me.

Written by Edna St Vincent Millay |


 Butterflies are white and blue
In this field we wander through.
Suffer me to take your hand.
Death comes in a day or two.
All the things we ever knew Will be ashes in that hour, Mark the transient butterfly, How he hangs upon the flower.
Suffer me to take your hand.
Suffer me to cherish you Till the dawn is in the sky.
Whether I be false or true, Death comes in a day or two.

Written by Edna St Vincent Millay |


 Ah, could I lay me down in this long grass
And close my eyes, and let the quiet wind
Blow over me—I am so tired, so tired
Of passing pleasant places! All my life,
Following Care along the dusty road,
Have I looked back at loveliness and sighed;
Yet at my hand an unrelenting hand
Tugged ever, and I passed.
All my life long Over my shoulder have I looked at peace; And now I fain would lie in this long grass And close my eyes.
Yet onward! Cat birds call Through the long afternoon, and creeks at dusk Are guttural.
Whip-poor-wills wake and cry, Drawing the twilight close about their throats.
Only my heart makes answer.
Eager vines Go up the rocks and wait; flushed apple-trees Pause in their dance and break the ring for me; And bayberry, that through sweet bevies thread Of round-faced roses, pink and petulant, Look back and beckon ere they disappear.
Only my heart, only my heart responds.
Yet, ah, my path is sweet on either side All through the dragging day,—sharp underfoot And hot, and like dead mist the dry dust hangs— But far, oh, far as passionate eye can reach, And long, ah, long as rapturous eye can cling, The world is mine: blue hill, still silver lake, Broad field, bright flower, and the long white road A gateless garden, and an open path: My feet to follow, and my heart to hold.

Written by Edna St Vincent Millay |

The Fawn

 There it was I saw what I shall never forget
And never retrieve.
Monstrous and beautiful to human eyes, hard to believe, He lay, yet there he lay, Asleep on the moss, his head on his polished cleft small ebony hoves, The child of the doe, the dappled child of the deer.
Surely his mother had never said, "Lie here Till I return," so spotty and plain to see On the green moss lay he.
His eyes had opened; he considered me.
I would have given more than I care to say To thrifty ears, might I have had him for my friend One moment only of that forest day: Might I have had the acceptance, not the love Of those clear eyes; Might I have been for him in the bough above Or the root beneath his forest bed, A part of the forest, seen without surprise.
Was it alarm, or was it the wind of my fear lest he depart That jerked him to his jointy knees, And sent him crashing off, leaping and stumbling On his new legs, between the stems of the white trees?

Written by Edna St Vincent Millay |

MacDougal Street

 AS I went walking up and down to take the evening air,
(Sweet to meet upon the street, why must I be so shy?)
I saw him lay his hand upon her torn black hair;
("Little dirty Latin child, let the lady by!")

The women squatting on the stoops were slovenly and fat,
(Lay me out in organdie, lay me out in lawn!)
And everywhere I stepped there was a baby or a cat;
(Lord, God in Heaven, will it never be dawn?)

The fruit-carts and clam-carts were ribald as a fair,
(Pink nets and wet shells trodden under heel)
She had haggled from the fruit-man of his rotting ware;
(I shall never get to sleep, the way I feel!) 

He walked like a king through the filth and the clutter,
(Sweet to meet upon the street, why did you glance me by?) 
But he caught the quaint Italian quip she flung him from the gutter;
(What can there be to cry about that I should lie and cry?) 

He laid his darling hand upon her little black head,
(I wish I were a ragged child with ear-rings in my ears! )
And he said she was a baggage to have said what she had said;
(Truly I shall be ill unless I stop these tears!)

Written by Edna St Vincent Millay |

I Shall Forget You Presently


I SHALL forget you presently, my dear,
So make the most of this, your little day, 
Your little month, your little half a year,
Ere I forget, or die, or move away,
And we are done forever; by and by
I shall forget you, as I said, but now,
If you entreat me with your loveliest lie
I will protest you with my favorite vow.
I would indeed that love were longer-lived, And vows were not so brittle as they are, But so it is, and nature has contrived To struggle on without a break thus far,­ Whether or not we find what we are seeking Is idle, biologically speaking.