Edna St. Vincent Millay

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

When the Year grows Old


I cannot but remember
   When the year grows old --
October -- November --
   How she disliked the cold!

She used to watch the swallows
   Go down across the sky,
And turn from the window
   With a little sharp sigh.

And often when the brown leaves
   Were brittle on the ground,
And the wind in the chimney
   Made a melancholy sound,

She had a look about her
   That I wish I could forget --
The look of a scared thing
   Sitting in a net!

Oh, beautiful at nightfall
   The soft spitting snow!
And beautiful the bare boughs
   Rubbing to and fro!

But the roaring of the fire,
   And the warmth of fur,
And the boiling of the kettle
   Were beautiful to her!

I cannot but remember
   When the year grows old --
October -- November --
   How she disliked the cold!

Submitted: Saturday, January 04, 2003

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