A Celebration of Women Writers

"Death" by Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950)
From Millay, Edna St. Vincent. Second April   New York: Mitchell Kennerley, 1921. pp. 21-22.

[Page 21] 


THERE will be rose and rhododendron
  When you are dead and under ground;
Still will be heard from white syringas
  Heavy with bees, a sunny sound;

Still will the tamaracks be raining
  After the rain has ceased, and still
Will there be robins in the stubble,
  Brown sheep upon the warm green hill.

Spring will not ail nor autumn falter;
  Nothing will know that you are gone,
Saving alone some sullen plough-land
  None but yourself sets foot upon;

[Page 22] 

Saving the may-weed and the pig-weed
  Nothing will know that you are dead,
These, and perhaps a useless wagon
  Standing beside some tumbled shed.

Oh, there will pass with your great passing
  Little of beauty not your own,
Only the light from common water,
  Only the grace from simple stone!

[Page 23]

Editor: Mary Mark Ockerbloom