Vintage verse – Recuerdo by Edna St. Vincent Millay

Recuerdo

We were very tired, we were very merry—
We had gone back and forth all night on the ferry.
It was bare and bright, and smelled like a stable—
But we looked into a fire, we leaned across a table,
We lay on a hill-top underneath the moon;
And the whistles kept blowing, and the dawn came soon.

We were very tired, we were very merry—
We had gone back and forth all night on the ferry;
And you ate an apple, and I ate a pear,
From a dozen of each we had bought somewhere;
And the sky went wan, and the wind came cold,
And the sun rose dripping, a bucketful of gold.

We were very tired, we were very merry,
We had gone back and forth all night on the ferry.
We hailed “Good morrow, mother!” to a shawl-covered head,
And bought a morning paper, which neither of us read;
And she wept, “God bless you!” for the apples and pears,
And we gave her all our money but our subway fares.

by Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950)

Photo by Christine Klocek-Lim

Vintage verse -I think I should have loved you presently (Sonnet IX) by Edna St. Vincent Millay

I think I should have loved you presently (Sonnet IX)

I think I should have loved you presently,
And given in earnest words I flung in jest;
And lifted honest eyes for you to see,
And caught your hand against my cheek and breast;
And all my pretty follies flung aside
That won you to me, and beneath your gaze,
Naked of reticence and shorn of pride,
Spread like a chart my little wicked ways.
I, that had been to you, had you remained,
But one more waking from a recurrent dream,
Cherish no less the certain stakes I gained,
And walk your memory’s halls, austere, supreme,
A ghost in marble of a girl you knew
Who would have loved you in a day or two.

by Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950)

Photo by Christine Klocek-Lim

Vintage verse – Travel by Edna St. Vincent Millay

Travel

The railroad track is miles away,
. . . .And the day is loud with voices speaking,
Yet there isn’t a train goes by all day
. . . .But I hear its whistle shrieking.

All night there isn’t a train goes by,
. . . .Though the night is still for sleep and dreaming,
But I see its cinders red on the sky,
. . . .And hear its engine steaming.

My heart is warm with friends I make,
. . . .And better friends I’ll not be knowing;
Yet there isn’t a train I wouldn’t take,
. . . .No matter where it’s going.

by Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950)

Photo by Christine Klocek-Lim

Vintage verse – I shall forget you presently, my dear (Sonnet XI) by Edna St. Vincent Millay

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I shall forget you presently, my dear (Sonnet XI)

I shall forget you presently, my dear,
So make the most of this, your little day,
Your little month, your little half a year,
Ere I forget, or die, or move away,
And we are done forever; by and by
I shall forget you, as I said, but now,
If you entreat me with your loveliest lie
I will protest you with my favorite vow.
I would indeed that love were longer-lived,
And vows were not so brittle as they are,
But so it is, and nature has contrived
To struggle on without a break thus far,
Whether or not we find what we are seeking
Is idle, biologically speaking.

by Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950)

Photo by Christine Klocek-Lim

Vintage verse – I know I am but summer to your heart by Edna St. Vincent Millay

I know I am but summer to your heart

I know I am but summer to your heart,
And not the full four seasons of the year;
And you must welcome from another part
Such noble moods as are not mine, my dear.
No gracious weight of golden fruits to sell
Have I, nor any wise and wintry thing;
And I have loved you all too long and well
To carry still the high sweet breast of Spring.
Wherefore I say: O love, as summer goes,
I must be gone, steal forth with silent drums,
That you may hail anew the bird and rose
When I come back to you, as summer comes.
Else will you seek, at some not distant time,
Even your summer in another clime.

by Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950)

Photo by Christine Klocek-Lim