To a Friend Estranged from Me

Now goes under, and I watch go under, the sun
That will not rise again.
Today has seen the setting, in your eyes, cold and senseless as the sea,
Of friendship better that bread, and of bright charity
That lifts a man a little above the beasts that run.

That this could be!
That I should live to see
Most vulgar Pride, that stale obstreperous clown,
So fitted out with purple robe and crown
To stand among his betters! Face to face
With outraged me in this once holy place,
Where Wisdom was a favoured guest and hunted
Truth was harbored out of danger,
He bulks enthroned, a lewd, an insupportable stranger!

I would have sworn, indeed I swore it:
The hills may shift, the waters may decline,
Winter may twist the stem from the twig that bore it,
But never your love from me, your hand from mine.

Now goes under the sun, and I watch it go under.
Farewell, sweet light, great wonder!
You, too, farewell, -- but fare not well enough to dream
You have done wisely to invite the night before the darkness came.

- Edna St. Vincent Millay

Tags: Poems, Poetry

Views: 12

Replies to This Discussion

Beautiful poem
Stunning. I'm awestruck.
Wow! That is a powerful and bitter parting of the ways. I am intrigues by "So fitted out with purple robe and crown/To stand among his betters." Does this symbolize more than meets the eye?
Chris, I just don't know how to answer that. Clearly, there is a lot of opacity in this poem. It is lovely to read, though I don't think I fully understand all her meaning.

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