Verse > Edna St. Vincent Millay > Renascence and Other Poems
Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892–1950).  Renascence and Other Poems.  1917.
11. Three Songs of Shattering

THE FIRST rose on my rose-tree
    Budded, bloomed, and shattered,
During sad days when to me
                Nothing mattered.
Grief of grief has drained me clean;        5
    Still it seems a pity
No one saw,—it must have been
                Very pretty.

Let the little birds sing;
    Let the little lambs play;        10
Spring is here; and so ’tis spring;—
    But not in the old way!
I recall a place
    Where a plum-tree grew;
There you lifted up your face,        15
    And blossoms covered you.
If the little birds sing,
    And the little lambs play,
Spring is here; and so ’tis spring—
    But not in the old way!        20

All the dog-wood blossoms are underneath the tree!
    Ere spring was going—ah, spring is gone!
And there comes no summer to the like of you and me,—
    Blossom time is early, but no fruit sets on.
All the dog-wood blossoms are underneath the tree,        25
    Browned at the edges, turned in a day;
And I would with all my heart they trimmed a mound for me,
    And weeds were tall on all the paths that led that way!


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