by Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892 - 1950)

What lips my lips have kissed, and...
Language: English 
Available translation(s): FRI GER
What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why,
I have forgotten, and what arms have lain
Under my head till morning; but the rain
Is full of ghosts tonight, that tap and sigh
Upon the glass and listen for reply,
And in my heart there stirs a quiet pain
For unremembered lads that not again
Will turn to me at midnight with a cry.
Thus in winter stands the lonely tree,
Nor knows what birds have vanished one by one,
Yet knows its boughs more silent than before:
I cannot say what loves have come and gone,
I only know that summer sang in me
A little while, that in me sings no more.

About the headline (FAQ)

First published in Vanity Fair, November 1920

Authorship

Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • FRI Frisian [singable] (Geart van der Meer) , copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) [singable] (Walter A. Aue) , "Welch' Lippen meine küßten ( 43. Sonett )", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Researcher for this text: Robert Manno

This text was added to the website: 2005-06-08
Line count: 14
Word count: 116