Edna St. Vincent Millay

(22 February 1892 – 19 October 1950 / Rockland / Maine / United States)

Fontaine, Je Ne Boirai Pas De Ton Eau!


I know I might have lived in such a way
As to have suffered only pain:
Loving not man nor dog;
Not money, even; feeling
Toothache perhaps, but never more than an hour away
From skill and novocaine;
Making no contacts, dealing with life through Agents, drinking
one cocktail, betting two dollars, wearing raincoats in the
rain.
Betrayed at length by no one but the fog
Whispering to the wing of the plane.

"Fountain," I have cried to that unbubbling well, "I will not
drink of thy water!" Yet I thirst
For a mouthful of—not to swallow, only to rinse my mouth in
—peace.
And while the eyes of the past condemn,
The eyes of the present narrow into assignation. And—
worst—
The young are so old, they are born with their fingers crossed;
I shall get no help from them.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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