by Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892 - 1950)

Language: English 
Ah, could I lay me down in this long grass
And close my eyes, and let the quite 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, as I passed. All my life long
Over my shoulder have I looked at peace;
And now I would fain lie in this long grass
And close my eyes.

                   Yet Onward! 
                                 Cat-birds call 
Through the long afternoon, and creeks at dusk
Are gutteral. Whip-poor-wills wake and cry,
Drawing the twilight close about their throats.
Only my heart makes answer. Eager vines
Go up the r7ocks and wait; flushed apple-trees
Pause in their dance and break the ring for me;
Dim, shady wood-roads, redolent of fern
And bayberry, that through sweet bevies thread
Of round-faced roses, pink and petulant,
Look back and beckon ere they dissappear.
Only my heart, only my heat 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 behold.


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

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2008-06-03
Line count: 33
Word count: 248