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Edna St. Vincent Millay

Rockland / Maine / United States
Edna St. Vincent Millay
Rockland / Maine / United States
Monday, January 13, 2003

Conscientious Objector

Rating: 2.8
I shall die, but
that is all that I shall do for Death.
I hear him leading his horse out of the stall;
I hear the clatter on the barn-floor.
He is in haste; he has business in Cuba,
business in the Balkans, many calls to make this morning.
But I will not hold the bridle
while he clinches the girth.
And he may mount by himself:
I will not give him a leg up.

Though he flick my shoulders with his whip,
I will not tell him which way the fox ran.
With his hoof on my breast, I will not tell him where
the black boy hides in the swamp.
I shall die, but that is all that I shall do for Death;
I am not on his pay-roll.

I will not tell him the whereabout of my friends
nor of my enemies either.
Though he promise me much,
I will not map him the route to any man's door.
Am I a spy in the land of the living,
that I should deliver men to Death?
Brother, the password and the plans of our city
are safe with me; never through me Shall you be overcome.
Edna St. Vincent Millay
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COMMENTS
3673734242 15 November 2018
dis like death my u can like pown me but u aint powning anybody elsE with my help liek i mean i may be useless to do agaienst u but liike i aint helping u even If it helpin me right
0 1 Reply
kouin 01 April 2018
Swiss Army Questionnaire for C.O.'s.
1 0 Reply
I will die, yes. But I will not serve Death by killing in war, by betraying anyone who is hiding from killers. My death is inevitable, but human killing of one another is a different story. I object and refuse to participate.
0 0 Reply
Colleen Courtney 17 May 2014
Not a big fan of this poem for some unknown reason.
9 19 Reply
John Robinson 24 May 2012
I AHTE THIS PEOM I HAVE TO DO AN ESAY ON THIS FOR 25% OF MY GCSE WTF THERE IS NOTHING YOU CAN WRIGHT ABOUT THIS SO I THINK I AM JUST GOING TO SPAM IT LIKE THIS OTHER GUY DID BEFOR
5 10 Reply
Yacov Mitchenko 30 December 2009
I wouldn't think Death needs Millay's help anyway. Well said, though.
11 8 Reply
Codie Shafer 21 July 2008
History of the Night Throughout the course of th generations men constructed the night. At first she was blindness; thorns raking bare feet, fear of wolves. We shall never know who forged the word for the interval of shadow dividing the two twilights; we shall never know in what age it came to mean the starry hours. Others created the myth. They made her the mother of the unruffled Fates that spin our destiny, thev sacrificed black ewes to her, and the cock who crows his own death. The Chaldeans assigned to her twelve houses; to Zeno, infinite words. She took shape from Latin hexameters and the terror of Pascal. Luis de Leon saw in her the homeland of his stricken soul. Now we feel her to be inexhuastible like an ancient wine and no one can gaze on her without vertigo and time has charged her with eternity. And to think that she wouldn't exist except for those fragile instruments, the eyes.
3 10 Reply
Codie Shafer 21 July 2008
im just ognna flood this with comments
5 31 Reply
Codie Shafer 21 July 2008
THIS POEM BLOEWS THE BIG ONE I GOTTA DO A PROJECT FOR SCHOOL FO IT I HATE IT! ! !
5 34 Reply
gone gone 14 April 2007
True courage and loyalty......an oath to lfe and justice.....beautifully said
16 3 Reply

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