Poetry

“How Innocent We Lie” by Edna St. Vincent Millay.

How innocent we lie among
The righteous!–Lord, how sweet we smell,
Doing this wicked thing, this love,
Bought up by bishops!–doing well,
With all our leisure, all our pride,
What’s illy done and done in haste
By licensed folk on every side,
Spitting out fruit before they taste.

(That stalk must thrust a clubby bud,
Push an abortive flower to birth.)

Under the moon and the lit scud
Of the clouds, the cool conniving earth
Pillows my head, where your head lies;

Weep, if you must, into my hair
Tomorrow’s trouble: the cold eyes
That know you gone and wonder where.

But tell the bishops with their sons,
Shout to the City Hall how we
Under a thick barrage of guns
Filched their divine commodity.

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