A Celebration of Women Writers

"The Death of Autumn" by Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950)
From Millay, Edna St. Vincent. Second April   New York: Mitchell Kennerley, 1921. pp. 69.

[Page 69] 


WHEN reeds are dead and a straw to thatch the marshes,
And feathered pampas-grass rides into the wind
Like agèd warriors westward, tragic, thinned
Of half their tribe, and over the flattened rushes,
Stripped of its secret, open, stark and bleak,
Blackens afar the half-forgotten creek,
Then leans on me the weight of the year, and crushes
My heart. I know that Beauty must ail and die,
And will be born again,but ah, to see
Beauty stiffened, staring up at the sky!
Oh, Autumn ! Autumn !What is the Spring to me?

[Page 70]

Editor: Mary Mark Ockerbloom