Edna St. Vincent Millay

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

The Penitent - Poem by Edna St. Vincent Millay

I had a little Sorrow,
Born of a little Sin,
I found a room all damp with gloom
And shut us all within;
And, "Little Sorrow, weep," said I,
"And, Little Sin, pray God to die,
And I upon the floor will lie
And think how bad I've been!"

Alas for pious planning—
It mattered not a whit!
As far as gloom went in that room,
The lamp might have been lit!
My little Sorrow would not weep,
My little Sin would go to sleep—
To save my soul I could not keep
My graceless mind on it!

So I got up in anger,
And took a book I had,
And put a ribbon on my hair
To please a passing lad,
And, "One thing there's no getting by—
I've been a wicked girl," said I:
"But if I can't be sorry, why,
I might as well be glad!"


Comments about The Penitent by Edna St. Vincent Millay

  • Rookie - 45 Points Colleen Courtney (5/17/2014 3:01:00 PM)

    Another piece I've always liked just for it's humor and honesty of an innocent. (Report) Reply

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Read poems about / on: sorrow, sorry, anger, girl, hair, sleep, god



Poem Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003



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